Human error by LAPD bomb technicians likely caused the homemade fireworks explosion that destroyed their truck, caused widespread damage to a residential neighborhood and left 17 people injured, the police chief said Monday.
The June 30 blast — which damaged dozens of homes, businesses and vehicles — has also resulted in five members of the department’s bomb squad being removed from field duties, according to Chief Michel Moore.
Moore, citing the preliminary findings of an investigation into the explosion, said that bomb squad technicians overloaded a containment chamber above the safety rating.
Despite the error, authorities are still trying to determine if the chamber — which is designed to withhold blasts — was faulty.
The planned detonation of the homemade fireworks came after authorities confiscated over 5,000 pounds of illegal, commercial-grade fireworks from a Los Angeles home.
The commercial-grade pyrotechnics were detonated at an off-site location, but officers, believing the homemade fireworks were too unstable to transport, opted to set them off inside the containment chamber in the neighborhood.
The LAPD and the FBI are now reviewing explosive-detonation protocols, and the police department is requiring a captain to sign off on future detonations.
Those injured by the blast included nine LAPD officers, seven civilians and a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officer.
One officer was taken to the hospital and is now recovering at home.
Some victims have already filed legal claims against the city.
With Post wires