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Chief: Bomb squad caused Los Angeles fireworks explosion

California Fireworks Explosion
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 20, 2021

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles police chief says a catastrophic fireworks explosion that injured 17 people and rocked a neighborhood last month was likely caused by miscalculations from bomb technicians.

Chief Michel Moore said Monday that the bomb squad grossly miscalculated the explosive weight of homemade fireworks when they detonated them in a containment chamber.

He said five bomb squad members have been removed from field duties as the investigation continues.

They could face discipline.

According to the Associated Press, the LAPD and the FBI are in the process of reviewing police protocols when it comes to explosives being detonated.

The department will not require a captain to sign off on detonations.

This is on top of two bomb technicians and a supervisor already signing off on orders currently.

The bomb technicians estimated the weight of the explosives and a counter-charge to be about 16.5 pounds in a standard measurement.

Authorities who reviewed the remains after the blast calculated the weight was more than 42 pounds.

The chamber's maximum capacity is 25 pounds.

Last month, the incident occurred when the LAPD bomb squad was in the process of seizing more than 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks at a residence in South Los Angeles.

As they were placing it in the department's armored trailer as a precautionary measure, it exploded.

According to the AP, victims of the blast have filed legal claims against the city.

Nine officers and a federal agent were injured in the blast, the AP reported.