A fireworks explosion that happened in a Los Angeles residential neighborhood in June was caused by “human error,” the city’s police chief said Monday. FILE – In this July 1, 2021 file photo Police officers walk past the remains of an armored Los Angeles Police Department tractor-trailer, after illegal fireworks seized at a South Los Angeles home exploded, in South 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, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes,File) Damian Dovarganes/AP

Los Angeles fireworks explosion in June caused by ‘human error’: Police

Kaelan Deese July 20, 10:46 AM July 20, 11:23 AM

A fireworks explosion that happened in a Los Angeles residential neighborhood in June was caused by “human error,” the city’s police chief said Monday.

Seventeen people, including multiple police officers, were wounded after a Los Angeles bomb squad truck carrying seized illegal fireworks exploded in a residential neighborhood on the evening of June 30.

“We believe a human error went to the miscalculation of the amount of material going into that vessel,” said Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore.

Some fireworks were found with “leaking material,” prompting them to attempt a contained detonation at the scene, Moore said at a press conference Monday.

Officers estimated placing 16.5 pounds of explosives into the truck’s total containment vessel, which is designed to carry a maximum load of 25 pounds for a one-time detonation. Investigators weighed the remains of the materials and calculated more than 42 pounds of net explosive weight in the vessel, Moore said.


“Based on information gathered at this point, it is believed that the net explosive weight placed into the [vessel] exceeded its rated capacity,” he said. “I want to personally express my apologies to every resident, business operator, and customer that was dramatically impacted by this incident.”

The bomb technicians and LAPD supervisor involved in the detonation have been removed from the field, Moore said.

“If mistakes are made in regards to established protocols, I’ll hold the appropriate individuals accountable,” he added.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was also involved in the investigation. A final investigation report will not be completed for another 30 to 60 days, according to ATF official Michael Hoffman.

The explosion caused nine police officers and an ATF officer to be sent to the hospital with minor injuries, said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.


Six civilians, ages 51 to 85 years old, were also taken to local medical facilities, and one person was given a medical examination at the scene, fire officials said.

The explosion damaged or destroyed 13 businesses, 22 residential properties, and 37 vehicles, Moore said.

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