Resilience Smart Cities

17 people injured, cars flipped after LA police detonate fireworks

Story at a glance

  • Seventeen people were injured Wednesday in California when police officers attempted to seize and carry out a controlled detonation of illegal fireworks.
  • Police had seized 5,000 pounds of fireworks and explosives in Historic South-Central that a 27-year-old man had reportedly purchased elsewhere and brought back to Los Angeles to resell ahead of July 4 festivities.
  • The containment vehicle being used for the controlled detonation failed.

Seventeen people were injured Wednesday in California when police officers attempted to seize and carry out a controlled detonation of illegal fireworks.

Police officers were included among the injured.

The blast occurred about 7:30 p.m. as members of the bomb squad were detonating some of the fireworks in a containment vehicle that is used to contain the blast.

“This vessel should have been able to safely dispose of that material,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore told NBC News. “And you saw the resulting damage, and the total catastrophic failure of that containment vehicle.”


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The controlled detonation came after the police seized 5,000 pounds of fireworks and explosives in Historic South-Central that a 26-year-old man had reportedly purchased elsewhere and brought back to Los Angeles to resell ahead of July 4 festivities.

The resulting explosion destroyed the containment vehicle, flipped a nearby car, shattered windows and injured 17. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

At this time, the police are unsure what caused the containment vehicle to fail.

“Something happened in that containment vehicle that should not have happened, and we don’t know why,” Moore said. “But we intend to find out why.”


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