South LA Fireworks Explosion Review Expected Soon – NBC Los Angeles


The investigative report that is expected to explain how members of an LAPD bomb squad caused a massive explosion on a residential street in South Los Angeles is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. .

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives initially said its findings would be ready by the end of August. Moore told the Los Angeles Police Board on Tuesday that the ATF now anticipates the investigation could take several more weeks.

“I met yesterday with the special agent in charge [Monique] Villegas from the ATF,” Moore said. “It should be done in the next two to four weeks.”

Moore said he also expects the LAPD’s internal review of the bomb squad’s June 30 decisions and actions to be completed around the same time. These findings could lead to disciplinary action against the officers involved.

In July, Moore said human error likely contributed to the explosion after bomb disposal officers underestimated the explosive power of equipment placed in a containment truck for what was believed to be a controlled detonation.

Photos: A powerful explosion during an illegal fireworks bust rocks the South Los Angeles neighborhood

The LAPD truck, called Total Containment Vessel, was destroyed in the explosion which also threw up huge chunks of metal and debris to jam them.

The explosion on East 27th Street sent 17 residents and first responders to hospitals and damaged 22 residences, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles. Since the blast, some of the residents who have been forced to evacuate their homes have had access to housing, funds to meet basic needs like clothing, and three meals a day.

Moore told the Commission on Tuesday that he visited the site and met with four of the families involved. He said the police department is working with other city agencies to try to expedite repairs and services for the people who live there.

Authorities said about 32,000 pounds of fireworks were stored in one of the houses on East 27th Street, where they were also believed to have been sold.
The resident of this house, Arturo Ceja III, 27, faces federal charges of illegally transporting tons of explosives.

In a court filing, prosecutors alleged that Ceja purchased most of the explosives from a dealer in Pahrump, Nevada.


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