At least 16 people, including 10 law enforcement officers, were injured and several cars and structures were damaged Wednesday evening when police attempted to safely detonate illegal fireworks that were seized in South Los Angeles.
Police attempted to dispose of some of the approximately 5,000 pounds of fireworks they discovered earlier Wednesday by detonating them in an armored container, CBS2 reported at about 7:40 p.m.
However, the force of the explosion destroyed the container and caused damage to several cars parked on the street.
Nine Los Angeles Police Department officers and one Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent suffered minor injuries, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Three residents suffered serious injuries and three others suffered minor injuries.
Several homes were damaged by the explosion and Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety personnel are evaluating them to determine if anyone will need emergency shelter.
It was not immediately known why the containment of the detonation of the fireworks failed.
Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that he was “closely monitoring the situation” and is “deeply concerned for those who were injured.”
Police officers and the Crisis Response Team continue to survey the neighborhood for more injuries and make sure the area is safe, according to Garcetti.
Kenneth Mejia, a candidate for city controller in the 2022 election, called for “an independent auditor to conduct the investigation on why this happened.”
“As City Controller, we’d do that and work with experts to get down to what happened and how much money this will cost our city,” Mejia tweeted. “There needs to be accountability.”
Police arrested a 24-year-old man and discovered the fireworks at a home in the 2700 block of East 27th Street, near San Pedro Street, according to the LAPD.
The suspect’s name was not released. It was not immediately clear what led up to the arrest.
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