SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Nine people were injured Wednesday evening after a planned detonation of seized illegal fireworks ended in an explosion in South Los Angeles.
WATCH: Sky9 was overhead when police attempted to detonate a stash of illegal fireworks that ended in an explosion in the 700 block of East 27th Street in South L.A. https://t.co/KpWiAEoyqv pic.twitter.com/UbIXLDoZjh
READ MORE: “It Felt Like A Really Hard Earthquake”: Neighbors Shocked After 9 Injured In Botched Illegal Firework Detonation By Police
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) July 1, 2021
In a tweet, LAPD said “officers were in the process of seizing over 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the area of 27th Street and San Pedro. Some of the fireworks were being stored in our Bomb Squad trailer as a precautionary measure. Unknown at this time what caused an explosion.”
However, reporters on the scene said immediately before the explosion officers moved them away from the vehicle and yelled, “Fire in the hole,” multiple times.
“When we got over the scene here, we were kind of expecting just some routine thing and to kind of get the shot that was gonna be the bookend to this story of basically this armored canister probably shaking a little bit and smoke coming out at the end of it,” Sky9 reporter Desmond Shaw said. “And then it just went catastrophically wrong. After it happened, we felt the blast up here, and it just kind of shook up my head a little bit.”
Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Police Department received a tip of illegal fireworks at a home in the 700 block of 27th Street. When officers arrived, they found two children and approximately 5,000 pounds of fireworks.
According to authorities, one man was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of destructive devices, possession of fireworks and child endangerment. Long said the child endangerment case was being referred to the Department of Child and Family Services.
Both bomb squad and investigators were on scene as officers loaded pallets full of explosives into a semi-truck in the alleyway behind the home.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said nine people were being evaluated, though their conditions were unknown, and the Urban Search and Rescue task force was on scene to evaluate the structural integrity of the most heavily damaged building.
There were no immediate reports of evacuations in the neighborhood, though it was not immediately clear when residents in the immediate area would be allowed back into their homes.