$21M Settlement for South Los Angeles Explosion Victims in LAPD Fireworks Incident

The Los Angeles City Council has given its approval to settlements totaling more than $21 million for residents affected by the LAPD’s mishandling of illegal fireworks, resulting in a devastating explosion.

Council members unanimously approved the settlements for the 19 plaintiffs affected by the blast that took place on June 30, 2021, on East 27th Street, one block east of San Pedro Street. According to court documents, different victims were awarded varying amounts of money, with some receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars and others receiving over $1 million.

An explosion rocked the South L.A. neighborhood, causing injuries to 17 individuals and significant damage to numerous homes and vehicles. Many residents were forced to leave their homes.

Several families are still awaiting the completion of their home repairs. The city has been covering the cost of their accommodation at a hotel in downtown L.A.

Price expressed strong criticism of the blast, stating that it could have been easily avoided.

The settlement agreements are awaiting final approval from Mayor Karen Bass, and the funding will need to be authorized by City Controller Kenneth Mejia.

The Los Angeles Police Department has taken responsibility for the explosion that occurred during their attempt to detonate a large collection of illegal fireworks.

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According to a federal report, the bomb squad had to handle a significant amount of highly volatile homemade fireworks, exceeding the capacity of the armored containment vessel. An unfortunate incident occurred when the fireworks, which were too unstable to be moved, were supposed to be detonated safely at the scene. However, the vessel unexpectedly exploded, causing debris to rain down on numerous residences, businesses, and vehicles.

There was an explosion that caused injuries to 10 law enforcement officers and seven residents. Additionally, it caused damage to 22 homes, 13 businesses, and 37 cars and trucks. Approximately 80 individuals were forced to leave their homes, and a portion of them have not yet been able to return to their community as per ABC7 News.

According to federal investigators, bomb squad technicians made errors in assessing the weight of the explosive material. They relied on visual estimation instead of using a scale and disregarded a team member’s advice to divide the material into smaller loads.

Following the incident, four members of the bomb squad faced disciplinary action.

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