Bungling bomb squad miscalculate fireworks weight as huge explosion injures 17

Los Angeles police have admitted their bomb squad caused an explosion that injured 17 people on June 30.

The LAPD squad had planned to do a controlled explosion and loaded what they believed was 16.5lbs of fireworks into a vehicle with a 25lb weight limit.

However, the authorities have said that the team made an 'apparent miscalculation' as they had loaded 42lbs of explosives into the truck.

The department had loaded 40 homemade fireworks the size of Coca-Cola cans with simple fuses and 200 smaller but similar devices onto the vehicle.

The resultant catastrophic failure of the armoured chamber sent a plume of fire into the air, injured 17 people and shattered the windows of nearby buildings, Mail Online reports.

Nine police officers were injured, along with one ATF officer, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

Six civilians, aged between 51 to 85 years old, were taken to a hospital, three with moderate and three with minor injuries, it said.

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Another was treated at the scene but declined to be taken to the hospital.

Thankfully, no one faced life-threatening injuries.

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At LAPD Headquarters on July 16, Chief Moore gave the update to the investigation which revealed the 'human error' led police to overload the containment truck.

He said: "Based on information gathered at this point, it is believed that the net explosive weight placed into the [vessel] exceeded its rated capacity."

Moore added that officers didn't use a scale to weigh the seized devices because LAPD protocols allow a physical and visual estimation to suffice.

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Michael Hoffman, an assistant special agent with the Los Angeles Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, theorized that the blast could have occurred because of issues with the bomb disposal vessel itself.

However, the specific device involved has been used 42 times by the department over the last decade.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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