An investigation is underway into a dangerous blast in Fullerton that was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED), and left a man hospitalized with serious injuries and looking at the possibility of facing charges, police said Friday.
At about 8:50 a.m. officers were sent to the Denny's Restaurant in the 900 block of South Harbor Boulevard to a report of a possible transformer explosion, Fullerton Police Department Sgt. Jon Radus told KTLA.
Officers arrived at the location and found a man down in the street suffering from serious injuries to his hands and face.
The unidentified 59-year-old man's injuries were initially considered to be life threatening, but police later tweeted that the man, was expected to survive.
Investigators later determined that although the injured man was found near a transformer, it was not the cause of the explosion.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad responded to the scene and located two IEDs.
Fullerton police said in a tweet one IED was determined it to be safe, while the second IED was determined to be the cause of the explosion.
The two IEDs were described as "small" and similar to the size of a golf ball. Police told KTLA they believe the man was holding the IED, or was in close proximity to it when it exploded.
Witnesses described the explosion to KTLA as "massive" and "impactful."
"When I first saw him I thought he was dead because of the magnitude, the sound and the impact of the explosion," Tino Rodriguez, who witnessed the explosion, told KTLA. "But after that I noticed he started to move his knees."
Police said in a tweet they expect charges to be sought against the injured man once he is released from the hospital.
"His injuries were significant injuries, loss of fingers, significant damage to his hands as well as to his throat and face area," Radus added.
Harbor Boulevard was temporarily shut down in both directions from East Orangethorpe Avenue to West Southgate Avenue during the investigation.
Several businesses in the area were also evacuated.
KTLA's Alexandria Hernandez contributed to this report.