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LAPD bomb squad miscalculated explosives before South LA blast, chief says

LAPD bomb squad miscalculated explosives before South LA blast, chief says

Technicians with the Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad thought they were putting 16.5 pounds of explosive material they confiscated during a raid for illegal fireworks at a home in South L.A. on June 30 inside a containment vehicle, where they would safely detonate it, authorities said.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore gives an update into the June 30 fireworks blast that sent 17 neighbors and first responders to the hospital and destroyed an LAPD bomb squad truck. Chief Moore was joined by ATF officials at headquarters in Los Angeles on Monday, July 19, 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

In fact, they may have put 42 pounds of explosives inside – far beyond the maximum capacity of the vehicle’s blast chamber, according to the federal experts who are investigating the explosion that injured 17 people and shattered nearby buildings.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore detailed the apparent failures of the bomb squad outside the department’s headquarters on Monday, July 19, saying the incident was still under internal investigation and subject to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives review.

He said if officers at the scene failed to follow LAPD rules for detonating explosives in a neighborhood, they would face discipline.

But he noted that the LAPD was also investigating whether it’s own rules were faulty and may have led to the devastating blast.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


Press Enterprise