Bomb squad mistake blamed in fireworks explosion that hurt 17 people

National News

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 on July 1. 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)

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles police chief says a catastrophic fireworks explosion that injured 17 people and rocked a neighborhood last month was likely caused by miscalculations from bomb technicians.

Chief Michel Moore said Monday that the bomb squad grossly miscalculated the explosive weight of homemade fireworks when they detonated them in a containment chamber.

He said five bomb squad members have been removed from field duties as the investigation continues. They could face discipline.

The bomb technicians estimated the weight of the explosives and a counter-charge to be about 16.5 pounds in a standard measurement.

Authorities who reviewed the remains after the blast calculated the weight was more than 42 pounds.

The chamber’s maximum capacity is 25 pounds.

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