A truck carrying illegal fireworks exploded in Los Angeles and injured at least 17 people, including nine police officers, after a bomb squad tried to detonate explosive devices, Fox News reported Wednesday.
Police found thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks, as well as “more unstable” explosive devices in a suspect’s home, said Michel Moore, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) chief, according to Fox News.
The LAPD bomb squad attempted to put the devices into a containment vehicle and detonate them, according to Fox News. The blast overturned a car and shattered windows in the neighborhood, according to Fox News.
“Clearly protocols were followed and pursued, but something happened in that containment vehicle that should have not happened and we don’t know why,” Moore said, according to Fox News. “We intend to find out why.”
Arturo Cejas III was arrested and faced charges of possessing fireworks and destructive devices, and child endangerment because police found two kids at the home, according to Fox News.
Sixteen people were taken to the hospital for treatment, with one declining to go, according to Fox News.
The explosion comes days before the Fourth of July weekend. The city introduced its first fireworks buyback program to reduce illegal explosions on Wednesday, according to Fox News.
“The LAPD supports this event and asks people to be safe, help prevent fires during a dry & bad fire season,” the department tweeted. “Let’s please be considerate of our neighbors, veterans with PTSD, and pets. Turn in your illegal fireworks & receive a free gift.”
“Illegal fireworks pose a great danger and can cost lives,” Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor, said in a statement. “We will prosecute those who use or possess them to the fullest extent of the law.”
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