South LA

City Seeks $5 Million to Help South LA Neighborhood Recover From Fireworks Blast

Nearly 90 people remain displaced by the June 30 explosion that left 17 residents and first responders injured, damaged 22 homes and destroyed an LAPD bomb squad truck.


A motion to seek $5 million to help residents recover from an accidental explosion during a bomb squad's illegal fireworks disposal operation in a South Los Angeles neighborhood.

Nearly 90 people are still displaced from their homes because of the blast just days before the Fourth of July. The explosion left 17 residents and first responders injured, damaged 22 homes and destroyed an LAPD bomb squad truck.

A federal report released last week said the explosion was caused by an overloaded chamber used to contain the detonation of the illegal fireworks. 

Emergency Management Department General Manager Carol Parks told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday that 88 people are still displaced from their homes awaiting repairs. Thirteen businesses and 37 vehicles also were damaged in the June 30 blast, which scattered debris throughout the neighborhood near East 27th and San Pedro streets.

The City Council passed a motion at Tuesday's meeting to seek $5 million in funding -- some of which would come from the Los Angeles Police Department budget -- to help the South Los Angeles neighborhood recover.

An ATF report came to the conclusion about the June explosion that displaced residents in South LA. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.

The motion instructed the chief legislative analyst and the city administrative officer to identify $5 million to the recovery effort and establish a Neighborhood Recovery Center with additional services to support residents' needs, including infrastructure improvements, mental health services, job and workforce development, access to children's services and business grants.

The motion requests that some of the funding for the relief effort come from the LAPD's $1.76 billion budget.

A U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported issued last week said the LAPD's containment vessel was designed to handle repeated detonations of 19 pounds of TNT equivalent at a time or a single detonation of 33 pounds of explosives before being returned to its manufacturer for analysis.

But the LAPD bomb squad miscalculated the amount of fireworks placed into a containment vessel, resulting in a massive explosion. Officers had loaded the truck with 39.85 pounds of explosives. LAPD personnel visually estimated the weight of the explosives to be about 16 pounds.

The city has received about 200 claims for damages from community members, Parks told the Police Commission on Tuesday. Twenty-six claims have been paid, and about 25 are pending payment. The City Attorney's Office is waiting for more information before processing 128 of the claims.

Residents last Thursday protested in front of their boarded-up homes, which remained unrepaired by the city, to demand the city accelerate the timeline for the repairs.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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