LA fireworks explosion: LAPD slammed for 'planned detonation' after blast injures 16

Police tried to dispose of some of the approximately 5,000 pounds of fireworks by detonating them in an armored container

                            LA fireworks explosion: LAPD slammed for 'planned detonation' after blast injures 16
LAPD's planned detonation in South Los Angeles resulted in an explosion that injured 16 people (Twitter)

A huge explosion has left sixteen people injured, including police officials in a Los Angeles neighborhood on Wednesday, June 30 evening. The tragic incident happened after the Los Angeles Police Department spent the day seizing 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from a house near 27th and San Pedro streets after Newton Division Officers received the tip-off, according to officials. LAPD decided to conduct a planned detonation as some of the explosives were unstable in nature and not safe to move. Things didn't go as planned and the unexpected blast which happened at 6 pm has caused serious injuries to at least three residents, according to the fire department. 

The fire department, in a statement, said that the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire department will be holding a press conference soon to address the blast. Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas and Police Chief Michael Moore will be present and the timing for the same is yet to be announced. Nine LAPD officers and an ATF officer were administered first aid at the scene and transported to nearby hospitals with minor injuries. Six civilians out of which three were gravely injured were transported to hospitals for further treatment. The ages and genders of the victims are yet to be released by the authorities. The LAPD were under scrutiny last year during the BLM protests and many officers said their morale was low. In fact, a pig head on a spike was left at an LAPD station with history of misconduct, police brutality amid George Floyd protests. This year, at Echo Park, protesters blocked the LAPD's move to uproot the homeless community over $500K repair work.


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LAPD slammed by public for detonating explosives in residential neighborhood

Several houses in the locality were impacted by the explosion and LA Building and Safety are evaluating these structures to determine if they need to displace the residents. Several businesses, as well as a number of cars that were parked on the streets, have been damaged as well. Helicopter footage of the area shows the bomb squad disposal unit was heavily damaged as well. "Our Bomb Squad officers were in the process of seizing over 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the area of 27th Street and San Pedro. Some of the fireworks were being stored in our Bomb Squad trailer as a precautionary measure. Unknown at this time what caused an explosion," LAPD tweeted a couple of hours after the incident. 

The general public is slamming LAPD on Twitter for their role in the explosion and for saying they are unsure what caused the blast. "They invited news crews for the event. Fox LA was tweeting about the planned detonation before it occurred. Then “fireworks” became “homemade explosives” and the LAPD starts claiming they don’t know how a 2-ton bomb detonated," tweeted an angry user. LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar had spoken to an outlet about discovering the illegal fireworks as well as the department's plan to detonate some of them on-site for safety purposes. The video has gone viral and people are holding LAPD accountable for the discrepancy on their end that caused the blast. 

"Hmmmmm. What could have possibly caused an explosion of 5k lbs of fireworks that you seized and stored in a trailer? I’m guessing YOU? So it’s incompetence or a message to the neighborhood. Either way- yikes! LAPD are the scariest thing about living in L.A," tweeted another angry user. "Will the police go to jail for blowing up the neighborhood, or just the people that gave them the bomb?" tweeted another irate user.