An explosion inside a box truck in Boyle Heights was being investigated Saturday as an accident and authorities said there was no indication it was tied to terrorism.
“This is accidental, doesn’t look like there was a criminal element to this, right now,” Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein told reporters. “This is the kind of situation where this could have been devastating and everybody is walking away, which is good.”
The blast occurred at 5:45 p.m. Friday in the 2700 block of East Olympic Boulevard, near Soto Street, and destroyed the truck and left debris scattered in the area, according to Amy Bastman of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The truck’s driver managed to steer what was left of the vehicle, which had a second man inside, into a gas station which was evacuated as a precaution, Bastman said.
Some of the debris from the truck ended up on top of at least one other vehicle.
“We truly were very, very lucky here,” Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Gregg Avery said. “Obviously this was a substantial explosion.”
The truck was carrying scrap metal and acetylene torches at the time of the explosion, police said.
The truck driver and passenger were not hurt, but one person in a car near the explosion was treated at the scene for an unknown injury, but was not transported to a hospital, NBC4 reported.
The street was closed for several hours for an investigation, but has since reopened.