Photo of tractor-trailer damaged by explosion in the middle of the street and surrounded by police tape.
The remains of an armored Los Angeles Police Department tractor-trailer are seen after fireworks exploded Wednesday evening, June 30, 2021. A cache of illegal fireworks seized at a South Los Angeles home exploded, damaging nearby homes and cars and injuring more than a dozen people, authorities said.
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu
  • An explosion occurred in LA as a bomb squad seized 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks Wednesday.
  • The fireworks were being loaded onto a trailer when the explosion occurred, injuring 16 people.
  • The cause of the explosion, which was caught on video, is not known, but police are investigating.
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A bomb squad truck being used to transfer thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks was engulfed in smoke and fire after it exploded in South Los Angeles Wednesday night, injuring at least 16 people and damaging buildings, officials said.

Police said officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad were in the process of seizing the fireworks, some of which were being stored in the bomb squad's trailer, when the explosion occurred. Police are investigating and the cause of the explosion is not yet known.

Videos captured the moment when the bomb squad truck, which was parked on a residential street, erupted in flames.

Police had responded earlier to an anonymous call about fireworks being held at a residential property. When officers arrived, they found more than 5,000 pounds of fireworks in the backyard. The bomb squad was called in to remove the fireworks to a storage location, LAPD said.

They also said there were some "unstable, improvised, explosive-type fireworks" that were "too unstable to move" and would instead be blown up at the scene.

One adult is in custody and facing charges for the fireworks and for child endangerment.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement he was "closely monitoring the situation" and that he is "deeply concerned for those who were injured."

He also said police would be conducting a full investigation, adding: "Illegal fireworks pose a great danger and can cost lives. We will prosecute those who use or possess them to the fullest extent of the law."

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