The sheriff said human error by LAPD bomb technicians may have caused the homemade fireworks explosion that destroyed their truck, caused widespread damage to a residential area and left 17 injured, the sheriff said Monday.
The June 30 explosion – which damaged dozens of homes, businesses and vehicles – also removed five members of the bureau’s bomb squad from field duty, according to Sheriff Michel Moore.
Moore, citing preliminary findings from the blast investigation, said bomb squad technicians overloaded one chamber above safe levels.
Despite the fault, authorities are still trying to determine if the chamber – designed to prevent explosions – is faulty.
The planned explosion of homemade fireworks came after authorities confiscated more than 5,000 pounds of commercial-grade illegal fireworks from a Los Angeles home.
Commercial grade fireworks were detonated at an off-site location, but officers, believing the homemade fireworks were not stable for transport, chose to place them inside a containment cell in the vicinity.
The LAPD and FBI are currently reviewing detonation protocols, and the police department is asking for a captain to sign off on future explosions.
Those injured by the blast included nine LAPD officers, seven civilians and one Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officer.
One officer was taken to the hospital and is currently recovering at home.
Several victims have filed lawsuits against the city.
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