Sixteen people, including police, were injured when a large explosion rocked a Los Angeles neighborhood on Wednesday evening as thousands of pounds of seized illegal fireworks were being detonated by the Los Angeles Police Department in what was meant to be a controlled explosion.
Three residents suffered serious injuries in the blast while nine LAPD officers, one federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent and three other people sustained minor injuries. The injured have been transported to local hospitals for treatment.
A bomb squad truck that was being used to detonate the fireworks was also severely damaged. Video footage of the explosion has now gone viral on social media. Here are some of the clips from different angles:
LAPD Fireworks Detonated On Site as They Were Too 'Unstable'
In the wake of the explosion the LAPD tweeted that the fireworks were in the process of being stored in the Bomb Squad trailer when the blast happened. "Some of the fireworks were being stored in our Bomb Squad trailer as a precautionary measure. Unknown at this time what caused an explosion," the tweet read.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Officer Tony Im said the LAPD learned about the fireworks in the area of 27th Street and San Pedro Street after receiving an anonymous tip. When officers arrived at the location they found roughly 5,000 pounds of fireworks and other improvised explosive devices.
A bomb squad was called to the scene to secure and remove dozens of boxes filled with the fireworks, which were set to be hauled away and destroyed with the help of the Fire Department while other fireworks and homemade explosives were planned to be destroyed on-site as they were too unstable to move.
A man in his 20s, identified as Arturo Cejas III, was arrested on suspicion of possessing fireworks and destructive devices and also on suspicion of child endangerment because two children were found at the home, police said.
The blast damaged nearby businesses, structures and cars in the residential neighborhood and left debris scattered on the streets. City officials are now evaluating the buildings to determine if they are structurally sound after the blast.