An attempt to detonate thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks seized from a South Los Angeles home ended in an explosion that left at least 16 people injured Wednesday evening, authorities said.
One South L.A. resident, who asked only to be identified as Kenri, said he lives across the street from where the explosion happened and his windows shattered with the impact of the explosion.
“I didn’t think it was a firework. It sounded more like an earthquake,” Kenri said. “I’ve never felt a firework like that — it never shakes the whole house.”
The Los Angeles Police Department planned to detonate the fireworks in one of their bomb squad vehicles when the explosion took place.
“It sounded like an explosion but it felt like an earthquake,” Jazmin Vasquez, a South L.A. resident, told KTLA.
“It was crazy. I was in my mom’s room and I heard it and I got scared,” Brandon Vasquez told KTLA.
The vehicle was destroyed, local business shops had windows shattered and at least 16 people were injured in the explosion, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
The 16 victims were taken to a local hospital to be treated.
About eight families were displaced after the explosion, Councilman Curren D. Price Jr. said during a press conference.
They included nine LAPD officers, all in fair condition with minor injuries; one officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who was transported in fair condition with minor injuries; six civilians, three of whom have serious injuries and three with minor injuries, according to LAFD.