Published On: Tue, Jul 20th, 2021

Chief: Bomb Squad Caused Los Angeles Fireworks Explosion

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LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles bomb technicians grossly miscalculated the weight of homemade fireworks last month when they detonated them in a containment chamber, causing a catastrophic explosion that injured 17 people and rocked a neighborhood, the police chief said Monday. Chief Michel Moore said five members of the department’s bomb squad have been removed from field duties as the investigation continues. They could face discipline. The bomb technicians—without using a scale, as is allowed by Los Angeles police procedures—estimated the weight of the explosives and a counter-charge to be about 16.5 pounds (7.48 kilograms). Federal authorities who weighed the remains after the blast calculated that the weight was actually more than 42 pounds (19 kilograms). The detonation chamber’s maximum capacity is 25 pounds (11 kilograms), Moore said. The truck-mounted chamber used during the June 30 explosion had been in service for a decade and this was its 42nd time in use. …

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