South Los Angeles fireworks blast contributed to 2 deaths, families say

Read Original Article at ABC7

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two families say the LAPD's botched detonation of fireworks at a South Los Angeles neighborhood June 30 contributed to the deaths of their loved ones.

Residents of the neighborhood are now mourning their two neighbors, who each had pre-existing medical conditions, but died last month following the blast. The families say that powerful blast, which followed the detonation and rocked the neighborhood, contributed to their relatives' deaths.

The families of the two men who died in the weeks following the explosion tell Eyewitness News they're considering legal action.

"The families believe that it was the stress that was caused by the explosion that eventually led to the death of their family members," said Ron Gochez with the group Union del Barrio. "So, although they didn't die on the same day of the explosion, they feel that it was the explosion that caused their eventual death."

One man who died has been identified as Auzie Houchins, 72. He lived in a home that was badly damaged by the explosion. Lorna Hairston, the wife of Houchins, says he was an LAUSD teacher and lived in South L.A. his whole life. She was in their home when the blast happened.

"He doesn't take any kind of change and being usurped like that from the home for three weeks, just sitting there in the room with nothing to do - pretty bad," she said.

"He was born in that house, so then you uproot him and you had to take everything... How do you take from where you were born and then move?" said Marie Staples, Hairston's daughter.

Neighbors say the other elderly man who died is Ramon Reyes, whose roof collapsed on him following the blast.

South LA fireworks blast: Explosive material exceeded capacity of containment truck, LAPD says

"They both were using oxygen and at the time they were moved from their home, when they were relocated, their oxygen machines or their tanks, were not taken with them," Gochez said. "And the hospital bed, a specialized hospital bed, was also not taken with them, so the families believe that also had something to do with their death."

Gochez says Houchins had diabetes and struggled following the blast because the city moved his family to a hotel without a kitchen. According to the L.A. County coroner, one of the causes of Houchins' death was sudden cardiac dysfunction, or a heart attack.


There are more than two dozen families impacted by the blast still not allowed home, including 15-year-old Madeline Heredia. She says the city hasn't informed them of where they'll go next.

"All we want is them to fix our house. We want to come back home," Heredia said. "We want to be having our own privacy. We want to have our own place to be ourselves."

South LA explosion: Community demands accountability from LAPD following fireworks blast

Eyewitness News reached out to LAPD regarding the two deaths, but has not heard back. City Councilmember Curren Price released the following statement:

"Over the course of the last 30 days since the LAPD illegal fireworks explosion occurred on 27th Street, my Office has been working closely with the victims of this tragic incident, addressing their various needs, including medical, emergency and longer-term housing and financial assistance, as well as other necessities.

What these victims have had to endure is reprehensible and unconscionable, and I repeat, it should have never happened in the first place. In the meantime, my Office has mobilized a multi-prong effort that includes the allocation of $10,000 grants to 25 pre-identified severely impacted households, as well as the repairs of more than 30 homes along 27th Street with most expected to be completed by the end of this month. In addition, my Office has helped to place 25 families, consisting of more than 80 individuals, into corporate housing where they will be allowed to stay as their homes are being repaired. Accepting this assistance by my Office will not impact a family's ability to file a claim or pursue legal action. I will continue to advocate on behalf of our community so that their claims with the City are expedited and they can begin to pick-up the pieces as they continue on their road to healing.

As our office received word of the recent loss of two patriarchs that lived on 27th Street, it struck my staff and I especially hard as Team Price has gotten to know them intimately. Our deepest condolences to them and we will continue to be there in their time of great need."

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Jefe de la policía admite que hubo errores durante explosión de camión en el sur de Los Ángeles

Read Original Article at Univision Los Angeles

Las familias desplazadas, personas heridas y comerciantes del sur de Los Ángeles aún esperan respuestas de las autoridades tras la explosión del 30 de junio.

LOS ÁNGELES, California. - Un mes después de la explosión ocurrida en un barrio del sur de Los Ángeles tras un operativo fallido de la Policía local (LAPD) para decomisar un cargamento de fuegos artificiales, las familias afectadas aún esperan respuestas de las autoridades.

En una entrevista el jefe del LAPD, Michel Moore, admitió a Univision 34 Los Ángeles que ha solicitado que el FBI investigue a todo su escuadrón antibombas para asegurar de que se estén siguiendo los protocolos en sus operaciones.

“Le he pedido al FBI que venga y vea no solo a lo que sucedió aquí y que examinen todo el escuadrón antibombas, hay otros aspectos ahí que tal vez se quedan cortos”, dijo Moore.

La explosión ocurrió a las 7:40 p.m. del 30 de junio en la cuadra 2700 de East 27th Street, cerca de San Pedro Street, y dejó al menos a 17 personas heridas y decenas de casas inhabitables. ( Ver video de la explosión)

El operativo, que buscaba decomisar miles de libras de fuegos artificiales antes de las fiestas del 4 de julio, falló tras una explosión que pretendía ser controlada. “Por lo que yo pensé previamente era un escuadrón antibombas de categoría mundial”, dijo Moore.

En el camión se detonaron 43 libras de fuegos pirotécnicos improvisados, en lugar del máximo permitido de 25 libras que debieron haber puesto en su interior.

La investigación sigue abierta con cientos de preguntas. Este miércoles el jefe Moore fue cuestionado en el Concejo de Los Ángeles.

El Concejal por el distrito 9, Curren Price, preguntó cuándo se darán a conocer los nombres de los individuos que dieron la orden de la detonación y cómo serán responsabilizados.

Ante el cuestionamiento Moore respondió que “eso será determinado por el fiscal de la ciudad de Los Ángeles de lo que puedo revelar legalmente”.

Moore además dijo a Univision 34 que el concejal Price no fue notificado previamente sobre las detonaciones que se llevarían a cabo en el sitio. “Se le notificó de la evacuación que se realizó, no la decisión de detonar los explosivos ilegales y debimos haberlo hecho”, dijo el jefe del LAPD y agregó que “claramente algún tipo de error sucedió en referencia a nuestro trabajo”.

Un hispano detenido

El LAPD identificó a Arturo Cejas, de 27 años, como el responsable de almacenar un cargamento fuegos artificiales ilegales y fabricar cohetes caseros con un material inestable capaz de causar una tragedia de una explosión controlada bajo los “protocolos de seguridad”.

“El hombre que tenía en posesión las 16 toneladas de fuegos ilegales en su casa enfrenta cargos estatales por poseerlos y haberlos traído de Nevada”, dijo Moore.

Mientras tanto 22 residencias fueron dañadas, 13 negocios afectados, 37 vehículos averiados y una enorme frustración sigue sin resolverse.

More indicó que “tenemos toda la intención de pagar el daño a cada persona que fue afectada por esta situación”. Univision 34 Los Ángeles seguirá indagando sobre cómo se reponderá concretamente por los daños ocasionados y cómo pagará a las familias afectadas.

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Councilman Curren Price Establishes $1M Emergency Relief Fund for Victims of the South LA Fireworks Blast

Read Original Article at LA Sentinel

Councilman Price announces a $1 million Emergency Relief Fund for the victims of the 27th Street LAPD Fireworks Explosion to help with their urgent needs.

 

Courtesy photos of the City of Los Angeles

 

On Wednesday, July 21, L.A. City Councilmember Curren Price unveiled details of a $1 Million emergency relief fund that will help District 9 victims of the LAPD fireworks explosion. The initiative draws from Price’s $21 million Reimagining Public Safety dollars and will provide immediate relief to impacted individuals and families.

The new program, established by Councilman Price, will go toward providing longer-term housing for individuals who have been displaced due to home repairs from broken windows to plumbing and other structural repairs; and financial assistance in the amount of $10,000 for 25 pre-identified, severely impacted households.

“We don’t have time for bureaucracy; we need to cut through the red tape for the sake of the victims,” said Councilman Price. “As my District reels from the reckless damage done, my focus remains steadfast on sustaining residents and lifting up the victims in their time of need. I am determined to help the affected families get back on their feet.”

Courtesy photos of the City of Los Angeles

The June 30 explosion on the 700 block of East 27th Street sent 17 residents and law enforcement officers to the hospital, displaced 75 neighbors, damaged dozens of homes and cars on the block, and financially affected 13 businesses.

 

The Councilmember added that Team Price has been working around-the-clock to make sure the victims feel supported. Price’s office has led efforts to secure housing, clothing, personally delivering meals and organizing food distributions, as well as purchasing furniture and refrigerators.

Most recently, Councilman Price’s office was able to transition 29 households into first-class, high quality, longer-term corporate apartments with a kitchen and laundry facility in each unit.

Courtesy photos of the City of Los Angeles

“As we move toward recovery, my community has proven their resiliency,” said Price. “They have been tried and tested, and they don’t need another apology. They want action from their government, and they want it now!”

 

If you are a victim of the LAPD fireworks explosion and are in need of assistance, contact the VCN YouthSource Center at the 28th Street YMCA at (213) 486-8137 or visit www.lacity.org/27thStreet. To get in touch with Councilmember Price’s District Office, please call (323) 846-2651.

 

Courtesy photos of the City of Los Angeles

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Vacant LADWP property in South L.A. slated for new park

Read Original Article at Urbanize Los Angeles

The half-acre site sits at the intersection of Figueroa and Slauson

 

A South Los Angeles property owned by the Department of Water and Power (LADWP) could be repurposed as public open space, according to a new environmental study.

The half-acre site, located at the northeast corner of Figueroa Street and Slauson Avenue, was once the site of LADWP's Figueroa Pump station, which was deactivated and demolished in 1959.  In the more than 60 years that have passed, the site has remained unused, although a fence was constructed around its perimeter and trash cleanups are conducted to remove debris.

With no future plans to reactivate the pump station site, LADWP is partnering with the office of 9th District City Councilmember Curren Price and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to transform property into a neighborhood park.  Under the proposed arrangement, LADWP would complete a cleanup of soil contamination before leasing the land to Recreation and Parks, which would redevelop and maintain the site afterward.  The remediation process would begin in Winter 2022 and be completed over a two-to-three-month period.

Empty LADWP property at Figueroa and Slauson slated for park

The proposed park, which is still in its design phase, would likely include walking paths, seating areas, shade structures, exercise stations, landscaping, and play equipment.  Additionally, the project may incorporate an underground cistern to capture stormwater runoff, which would be used to irrigate the park.

As with many Los Angeles parks, it would be fully enclosed with perimeter fencing, and closed between sunset and sunrise.  However, as the park is proposed to serve just the surrounding neighborhood, no parking is planned.

Although a precise schedule for the project has not been set, the study estimates that construction would occur over an approximately six-month period starting in mid-2022.

The project's location along Slauson Avenue would place in near the heart of the planned Rail to Rail/River corridor, a Metro project which would convert an adjoining freight rail right-of-way into an active transportation route connecting the Crenshaw/LAX Line with South Los Angeles neighborhoods to the east.

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Councilman questions LAPD chief on destructive South LA fireworks explosion

Read Original Article at Daily News

Following the hearing, the City Council unanimously approved a motion to order a report from the department on the "failed operation" and how the public will be better protected in the future. The City Attorney's Office was also instructed to ensure that people are properly compensated for property damage and injuries. 

Car windows were blown out in the 700 block of 27th Street in Los Angeles after the LAPD detonated fireworks in their explosives vehicle and caused damage to much of the neighborhood.  Residents were allowed back to their houses Thursday to collect more of their belongings.  (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Car windows were blown out in the 700 block of 27th Street in Los Angeles after the LAPD detonated fireworks in their explosives vehicle and caused damage to much of the neighborhood. Residents were allowed back to their houses Thursday to collect more of their belongings. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LOS ANGELES — City Councilman Curren Price questioned Police Chief Michel Moore on Wednesday, July 28, over the destructive fireworks explosion set off on June 30 by an LAPD bomb squad and why his office wasn’t notified in advance about the detonation in his district.

Following the hearing, the City Council unanimously approved a motion to order a report from the department on the “failed operation” and how the public will be better protected in the future. The City Attorney’s Office was also instructed to ensure that people are properly compensated for property damage and injuries. The office has received 145 claims for money for damages and 62 were still being processed as of Wednesday.

Some of the claims have been paid, according to Kelli Porter, deputy city attorney, but she did not have the exact number.

Moore has previously said that Price’s office was notified ahead of the detonation, but he backtracked Wednesday following Price’s reiteration that his office was not informed in advance.

“Let me be clear that your office was not notified of the planned detonation of this material,” Moore said.

The detonation on East 27th Street, near San Pedro Street, sent 17 residents and first responders to hospitals, destroyed a bomb squad truck and damaged 22 residences, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles.

Moore said Price’s office should have been notified about the evacuations, but the department “fell short.”

Price also asked when the names will be released of the LAPD personnel involved in the botched detonation, but Moore said he believes state law prohibits him from releasing the names. He added that “ultimately to the members of the community, I’m responsible for this as the chief of police.”

Price is designating $1 million from his office’s Environmental Equity and Reimagining Public Safety fund to provide long-term housing, repairs and financial assistance to residents whose homes were damaged by the blast. He’s also providing $10,000 no-strings-attached grants to 25 households that have been pre-identified as being severely impacted.

Price said Wednesday that his office’s fund should be reimbursed by the Los Angeles Police Department. The council’s motion approved Wednesday also seeks funding to reimburse Price’s office’s fund.

“We don’t want another apology. We don’t want you to feel sorry for us. We want action from our government and we want it now,” Price said.

A preliminary investigation into the blast by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives’ National Response Team found that the LAPD bomb squad significantly underestimated, based on a visual assessment, the weight of explosive material being loaded into the truck for detonation.

The truck — which had been used 41 previous times over the last decade, including for three detonations in June — can safely contain the detonation of up to 15 pounds of explosive materials for repeated use or up to 25 pounds for one-time use that would render the truck out-of-service in the future.

Bomb technicians followed department protocols to limit handling of the explosive devices and estimated the total amount of explosive material being loaded into the truck at 16 1/2 pounds, Moore said on July 19. The National Response Team’s physical weighing of the materials found that the actual amount was 42 pounds.

“How could the LAPD Bomb Squad make such a stupid mistake. How could they have allowed this to happen in my working class community?” Price asked.

Moore said he would wait for all the information from the ATF’s investigation before disciplining personnel, adding that if individuals followed department protocol, they wouldn’t be held responsible.

“Part of the responsibility is upon the reckless action of individuals who bring fireworks and store them for the commercial selling on an underground market to our residents,” Moore added.

Price said that individual has been identified and is being held responsible.

Authorities have said about 32,000 pounds of fireworks were being stored at a home on East 27th Street, where they were being sold. The home’s resident, Arturo Ceja III, 27, was charged with illegally transporting tons of explosives. He is set to be arraigned Aug. 2.

So far, 14 households have been able to reoccupy their South Los Angeles homes, Moore said Tuesday. The city has rented 29 long-term units for households awaiting structural repairs.

All businesses around San Pedro Street have been able to reopen, along with full resumption of traffic on 27th Street. Displaced families were initially housed in local motels, but the city has now rented 29 “corporate housing” units, which Moore said were fit for long-term residency and include kitchens.

Sixteen residential structures remain unoccupied as repairs are pending, including an apartment complex that housed 14 families, Moore said. Families who live in the complex are technically allowed to return, but Moore said the building’s owner was resisting because of “some legal issues over the repairs.”

The LAPD has begun implementing new procedures as a result of the explosion, including the required presence of a commanding officer during future detonations. The department will seek best practices from other departments to evaluate what other changes should be made, according to Moore.

On July 19, the city opened a resource center to assist affected residents at the YMCA at 1006 E. 28th St. to serve as the designated location where victims can connect with a wide range of services, including opportunities to file a claim, obtain mental health and wellness referrals, as well as other supportive services. The office is open weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The ATF’s National Response Team responded to the scene on July 2 and conducted a weeklong investigation. It will formalize a “cause and origin report” based on its field work, 40 interviews with witnesses and personnel, forensic tests and evaluation of damage and surveillance footage. The report will be sent to the National Center for Explosive Training and Research for review, and the LAPD expects to have in the next few weeks.

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Botched LAPD Fireworks Detonation: City Council Orders Expedited Report, Compensation For Families

Read Original Article at LAist

Four photos show the total containment vessel before and after the explosion, along with a destroyed van and a damaged coin laundry business.

Photos displayed at an LAPD press conference on the preliminary findings of the investigation into botched fireworks detonation: (L) The damage to total containment vessel (R) Some of the damage from the fireworks detonation to the surrounding community.
(Robert Garrova/LAist)

The L.A. City Council voted Wednesday to order the LAPD to speed up a report on the botched South L.A. fireworks detonation that injured more than a dozen people.

A preliminary federal investigation has found that police may have overloaded a special containment vessel when they tried to safely dispose of some of the 32,000 pounds of illegal fireworks found at a residence.

The resulting explosion on June 30 ripped apart the vessel, injured 17 people, displaced dozens of residents and caused severe damage to residential and business property.

Councilmember Curren Price, who represents the district where the botched detonation happened, is pushing LAPD Chief Michel Moore for answers. Price said processing the aftermath has been “mind-boggling.”

“How could the LAPD bomb squad make such a stupid mistake, how could they have allowed this to happen in my working-class community?” Price said Wednesday while addressing the council.

Compensation

 

The council also asked the City Attorney to ensure that affected families are compensated for injuries and property damage. A representative from the City Attorney’s office said it’s received 145 claims so far, but she did not know how many had been paid out.

Price also wants city staffers and LAPD to figure out how to pay his district back for a $1 million fund it set up for affected families.

“[The fund] draws directly from my Reimagining Public Safety dollars,” Price said. “But let me be clear, I think the money should be coming from the LAPD, and I expect it to be paid back into our reinvestment fund,” he added.

Additionally, the council voted to develop updated protocols for handling emergencies like this in the future.

Chief Moore said the department was doing a “top to bottom” review of bomb squad operations.

Moore also clarified that Price’s office was not notified of the planned detonation before it happened last month, which was against current protocol.

“We fell short of what our expectations of the local command were, and what they are,” Moore said.

 

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Curren Price announces fund to help victims of South LA fireworks detonation

Read Original Article at Daily News

Price said the money will come from his office's Environmental Equity and Reimagining Public Safety dollars, and will provide long-term housing, repairs and financial assistance to residents whose homes were damaged by the June 30 blast.

 

A LAFD firefighter helps people leave the area on Thursday, July 1, 2021 where a LAPD Bomb Squad truck exploded with illegal fireworks in South Los Angeles. The truck failed to handle a planned detonation of seized explosives the night before leaving 17 people injured and damage in the neighborhood. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

A LAFD firefighter helps people leave the area on Thursday, July 1, 2021 where a LAPD Bomb Squad truck exploded with illegal fireworks in South Los Angeles. The truck failed to handle a planned detonation of seized explosives the night before leaving 17 people injured and damage in the neighborhood. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

City Councilman Curren Price announced a $1 million emergency fund today to aid South Los Angeles residents impacted by a destructive fireworks explosion set off by an LAPD bomb squad.

Price said the money will come from his office’s Environmental Equity and Reimagining Public Safety dollars, and will provide long-term housing, repairs and financial assistance to residents whose homes were damaged by the June 30 blast.

“It should never have happened in the first place and it is clear that the city is at fault in this explosion. But the damage and destruction has been done, and it is now time to restore our family and rebuild our community,” Price said.

The detonation sent 17 residents and first responders to the hospital, destroyed the bomb squad truck and damaged 22 residences, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles. Since the explosion, victims forced to evacuate their homes have been provided with access to housing, funds needed to satisfy their basic need and three meals a day.

The councilman said his fund will give displaced residents “first-class quality long-term housing,” help them with home repairs — including broken windows, plumbing, and structural repairs — as well as give $10,000 no-strings-attached grants to 25 households that have been pre-identified as being severely impacted.

“I want to make sure that we’re doing all we can, as quickly as we can, to restore these families to some sense of normalcy. Our families need help now. Not two weeks from not, not two months from now, not two years from now, but now,” he said.

Price added that the Los Angeles Police Department did not notify his office before detonating the explosives. LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday that the department did notify Price’s office.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my office was not notified of the detonation of this dangerous explosive, and had we been notified we would have said no, said hell no, you can’t do that out here, not like that.”

Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and several people who phoned in to the police commission meeting Tuesday called for Moore to be fired and for the city to pay reparations to residents.

“There’s no reason, there’s no excuse, there’s no rationale. You do not detonate explosives in a neighborhood, and we believe, as so many believe, that if this had been another neighborhood, not a working class Black and brown neighborhood in South L.A., they would not have detonated those explosives,” BLM-LA’s Paula Minor said.

“We stand up, we are insistent, we say over and over: Chief Moore must go.”

According to Moore, a preliminary investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives’ National Response Team found that the bomb squad significantly underestimated, based on a visual assessment, the weight of explosive material that was being loaded into the truck for detonation.

The truck — which had been used 41 previous times over the last decade, including for three detonations in June — can safely contain the detonation of up to 15 pounds of explosive materials for repeated use or up to 25 pounds for one-time use that would render the truck out-of-service in the future. Bomb technicians followed department protocols to limit handling of the explosive devices and estimated the total amount of explosive material being loaded into the truck was 16.5 pounds, Moore said. The National Response Team’s physical weighing of the materials found that the actual amount was 42 pounds.

Price said Monday that he was “infuriated” by the findings that the bomb squad likely overloaded the truck with explosives. He called the error “by far one of the LAPD’s largest blunders in recent history, which has further betrayed the trust of our South L.A. community.”

Moore insisted Monday morning that bomb squad technicians were “operating with the best intentions” in a stressful situation. But he said if mistakes were made in estimating the weight of explosive material placed in the truck, “I will hold the appropriate individuals accountable.”

He said the bomb squad has already begun implementing new procedures as a result of the explosion, including the required presence of a commanding officer during future detonations. The department will seek best practices from other departments to evaluate what other changes should be made.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said Tuesday that his office has received 56 claims filed against the city related to the explosion, and is addressing them within a day of their filing.

On Monday afternoon, the city opened a new resource center to assist affected residents at the YMCA at 1006 E. 28th St. It will serve as the designated location where victims can connect with a wide range of services, including opportunities to file a claim, obtain mental health and wellness referrals, as well as other supportive services. The office is open Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The ATF’s National Response Team responded to the scene on July 2 and conducted a week-long investigation. It will formalize a “cause and origin report” based on its field work, 40 interviews with witnesses and personnel, forensic tests and evaluation of damage and surveillance footage. The report will be sent to the National Center for Explosive Training and Research for review, and the LAPD expects to have it in 30 days.

Authorities have said about 32,000 pounds of fireworks were being stored at a home on East 27th Street, where they were being sold. The home’s resident, Arturo Ceja III, 27, was charged with illegally transporting tons of explosives. He is set to be arraigned Aug. 2.

Prosecutors said Ceja purchased most of the explosives from a dealer in Pahrump, Nevada.

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Otorgarán $2,000 a hogares afectados por explosión en el sur de Los Ángeles

Read Original Article at Telemundo 52

La detonación envió a 17 residentes y socorristas al hospital, destruyó el camión del escuadrón de bombas, y dañó 22 residencias, 13 negocios y 37 vehículos.

El concejal Curren Price anunció un fondo de emergencia de $ 1 millón para ayudar a los residentes del sur de Los Ángeles afectados por la explosión destructiva de fuegos artificiales provocada por un escuadrón de bombas de LAPD.

Price dijo que el dinero provendrá de su oficina de  Equidad Ambiental y Refiguración de Seguridad Pública, y proporcionará viviendas a largo plazo, reparaciones y asistencia financiera a los residentes cuyas casas fueron dañadas por la explosión ocurrida el 30 de junio.

“En primer lugar, nunca debería haber sucedido, y está claro que la ciudad tiene la culpa de esta explosión. Pero el daño y la destrucción están hechos, y ahora es el momento de restaurar a nuestras familias y reconstruir nuestra comunidad”, dijo Price.

La detonación envió a 17 residentes y socorristas al hospital, destruyó el camión del escuadrón de bombas, y dañó 22 residencias, 13 negocios y 37 vehículos. Desde la explosión, a las víctimas obligadas a evacuar sus hogares se les ha proporcionado acceso a una vivienda, y fondos necesarios para satisfacer sus necesidades básicas y tres comidas al día.

El concejal dijo que su fondo dará a los residentes desplazados vivienda de calidad a largo plazo, ayuda con las reparaciones del hogar, incluidas ventanas rotas, plomería y reparaciones estructurales, además de dar $ 10,000 sin subvenciones condicionadas a 25 hogares que han sido preidentificados como severamente impactados.

“Quiero asegurarme de que estamos haciendo todo lo posible, tan rápido como se puede, para restaurar a estas familias a un cierto sentido de normalidad. Nuestras familias necesitan ayuda ahora. No dentro de dos semanas, no dentro de dos meses, no dentro de dos años, se necesita ahora”, dijo.

Price agregó que el Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles no notificó a su oficina antes sobre la detonación de los explosivos. El jefe de LAPD, Michel Moore, dijo a La Comisión de Policía de Ángeles el martes que el departamento si había notificado a la oficina de Price.

“Lo he dicho antes y lo diré de nuevo, mi oficina no fue notificado de la detonación de este peligroso explosivo, y si hubiéramos sido notificados, hubiéramos dicho que no, al infierno que no, no pueden hacer esto aquí”, dijo Price.

Black Lives Matter-Los Ángeles y varias personas que participaron en la reunión en la Comisión de Policía vía telefónica del martes pidieron el despido de Moore y exigieron que la pagara todos los daños a los residentes afectados.

“No hay razón, no hay excusa, no hay justificación. No se detonan explosivos en un vecindario, y creemos, como muchos creen, que si este hubiera sido otro barrio, no un vecindario de negros y latinos de clase trabajadores el sur de Los Ángeles, no habrían detonado esos explosivos”, dijo Paula Minor de BLM-LA.

“Nos ponemos de pie, insistimos, decimos una y otra vez: El jefe Moore debe de salir”, añadió.

Según Moore, una investigación preliminar de la Oficina del El Equipo Nacional de Respuesta al Alcohol, Tabaco y Armas de Fuego y Explosivos encontró que el escuadrón de bombas subestimó significativamente, según una evaluación visual, el peso de material explosivo que se estaba cargando en el camión para detonación.

El camión, que se había utilizado 41 veces en la última década, incluida tres detonaciones en junio, puede contener con seguridad la detonación de hasta 15 libras de materiales explosivos por uso repetido o hasta 25 libras para un solo uso que dejaría el camión fuera de servicio en el futuro.

Los técnicos de bombas siguieron los protocolos del departamento para limitar el manejo de artefactos explosivos y estimó que la cantidad total de material explosivo cargado en el camión pesaba 16.5 libras, dijo Moore. El Equipo Nacional de Respuesta señaló que la cantidad real del pesaje físico de los materiales encontrados era de 42 libras.

Price agregó el lunes que estaba "enfurecido '' por los hallazgos que el escuadrón de bombas probablemente sobrecargó el camión con explosivos, y llamó el error, “uno de los mayores errores cometidos por la Policía de Los Ángeles en la historia reciente que ha traicionado aún más la confianza de nuestra comunidad del sur de Los Ángeles”.

Daños estructurales y psicológicos tras explosión de fuegos artificiales ilegales
A casi 24 horas de dicha explosión se reportan daños estructurales y psicológicos para varias familias que vivieron esta pesadilla.

Moore insistió el lunes por la mañana en que los técnicos del escuadrón de bombas “operaban con las mejores intenciones” en una situación estresante. Pero dijo que si se cometieron errores al estimar el peso del material explosivo colocado en el camión. “Haré responsables a las personas apropiadas”, dijo.

Moore dijo que el escuadrón de bombas ya ha comenzado a implementar nuevos procedimientos como resultado de la explosión, incluida la presencia requerida de un mando oficial durante futuras detonaciones. El departamento buscará las mejores prácticas de otros departamentos para evaluar qué otros cambios deben realizarse.

El abogado de la ciudad, Mike Feuer, dijo el martes que su oficina ha recibido 56 reclamos contra la ciudad relacionados con la explosión, y los está abordando dentro de un día de su presentación.

El lunes por la tarde, la ciudad abrió un nuevo centro de recursos para ayudar residentes afectados en el YMCA localizado en la cuadra 1006 E. 28th St. y servirá como el lugar designado donde las víctimas pueden conectarse con una amplia gama de servicios, incluyendo oportunidades para presentar un reclamo, obtener referencias de salud y bienestar mental, así como otros servicios de apoyo. La oficina está abierta de lunes a viernes de 3 p.m. a 6 p.m.

El Equipo Nacional de Respuesta de la ATF respondió a la escena el 2 de julio y llevó a cabo una investigación de una semana. Formalizará una informe de “causa y origen”  basado en su trabajo de campo, 40 entrevistas con testigos y personal, pruebas forenses y evaluación de daños y metraje de vigilancia. El informe luego será enviado al Centro Nacional de Entrenamiento e Investigación sobre Explosivos para revisión, y el LAPD espera tenerla en 30 días.

Recomendaciones para residentes desplazados por explosiones de fuegos artificiales
A raíz de la explosión de fuegos artificiales que dejo varios heridos y danos muchos vecinos dicen que no saben donde acudir cuando ocurren estos daños. Aquí le decimos que hacer. 

Las autoridades han dicho que se estaban produciendo alrededor de 32,000 libras de fuegos artificiales almacenados en una casa en la calle East 27th, donde se vendían.

El residente de la casa, Arturo Ceja III, de 27 años, fue acusado de transportar ilegalmente toneladas de explosivos. Está programado para ser procesado el 2 de agosto.

Los fiscales dijeron que Ceja compró la mayoría de los explosivos a un comerciante en Pahrump, Nevada.

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Los Angeles Police Underestimated Weight of Fireworks Before Blast That Hurt 17

Read Original Article at New York Times

An apologetic police chief said the bomb squad had determined the explosives to weigh 16.5 pounds without using a scale. Investigators found the weight was over 42 pounds.

Los Angeles police bomb technicians attempting to safely dispose of 42 pounds of illegal fireworks they seized at a home in June vastly underestimated the weight of the explosives before their armored containment vessel was breached by a powerful blast, a contrite police chief announced Monday.

The explosion injured 17 people, including 10 law enforcement officers, and caused extensive damage to more than 20 homes and over a dozen businesses.

Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said at a news conference on Monday that instead of weighing the fireworks with a scale, the bomb squad personnel estimated their weight based on a physical inspection and arrived at 16.5 pounds — 60 percent less than the weight of the fireworks later determined during an investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“I want to personally express my apologies to every resident, business operator and customer that was traumatically impacted by this incident,” Chief Moore said. “I’m sorry that this occurred.”

He assured that the officers involved were acting in “good faith” and following protocol when handling the explosives.

The miscalculation is the first major revelation from a continuing investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the cause of the blast, which occurred after the police discovered more than 32,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in a June 30 raid at a home in South Los Angeles.

At the news conference, Chief Moore said that during the raid, officers found some leaky homemade fireworks that were deemed too unstable to transport. The officers decided to eliminate the fireworks in a chamber known as a total containment vessel, in accordance with the department’s protocol. Total containment vessels are armored vehicles designed to keep people and property safe from the blast effect of an explosion, Chief Moore said.

The police department’s bomb squad put 280 M-80s — fireworks that pack powerful explosives — and 40 soda-can-size fireworks into the vessel. They calculated the explosives to weigh 16.5 pounds without using a scale, Chief Moore said. The vessel is designed to handle, at most, 25 pounds for a single use and 15 pounds for multiple uses. The investigation by the federal explosives bureau’s National Response Team found that the actual weight of the explosives was more than 42 pounds.

“That amount in itself could have taken out the entire neighborhood,” Michael Hoffman, assistant special agent in charge of the bureau’s Los Angeles office, said during the news conference.

Agent Hoffman said his agency hypothesized that this significant underestimation, along with the failure of some components in the vessel, could have resulted in the powerful uncontrolled blast. The full findings of the team’s investigation will be released in a month or two, he estimated, pending the report’s peer review.

Chief Moore said that five members of the bomb squad had been removed as a result of the explosion while they await the full investigation.

Police equipment was damaged in the explosion of illegal fireworks that breached an armored containment vessel.Credit...Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

After the blast, which left many displaced without access to their homes, the Los Angeles police came under heavy scrutiny, with many questioning whether the department could have done more to protect residents in such a densely populated area, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Residents and activists in South Los Angeles have demanded full accountability from the Police Department for the blast and the extensive property damage. Some have accused the L.A.P.D. of showing disregard for the neighborhood by handling the fireworks in the middle of a lower-income residential area.

City Councilman Curren D. Price Jr., who represents the district where the explosion occurred, called the explosion an “act of negligence” and “one of the L.A.P.D.’s largest blunders in recent history, which has further betrayed the trust of our South L.A. community,” in a statement after Monday’s news conference.

Others said the police would not have acted as they did in a wealthier neighborhood.

“We believe, as so many believe, that if this had been another neighborhood, not a working-class Black and brown neighborhood in South L.A., they would not have detonated those explosives,” Paula Minor of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter said in a news conference held Tuesday.

On July 5, the South Central Neighborhood Council passed a resolution demanding that the city financially compensate those affected by the explosion. The council called the act a “reckless decision by the L.A.P.D.” as it primarily hurt the well-being of a Black and Latino community.

“As we wait for the final report to be released, I hope L.A.P.D. is taking the actions now to address their shortcomings and are making plans to step up and support the victims of the devastation who have been traumatized and will be suffering from the effects for years to come,” Mr. Price said.

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