Authorities have begun a criminal investigation into the Los Angeles Hash-Oil Warehouse, which rocked several buildings and injured 12 firefighters, according to reports.
The cause of Saturday’s massive bombing at Smoke Tokas in the city’s Little Tokyo section has not been determined, but investigators say carbon dioxide and butane canisters were found inside a one-storey building. Los Angeles Times reports.
“We are in the early stages of the investigation,” said LAPD Assistant Chief Horace Frank. “We’re looking at every aspect at this point … the explosion is so great that the firefighters are so lucky to be alive.”
The explosion in a one-storey commercial building occurred in a commercial district known for smoke shops, and officials refer to the area as Bong Ro.
Said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Eric Scott.
A total of 11 firefighters were treated for burns at a hospital, while another firefighter was released from the emergency room. As of Sunday morning, eight people were hospitalized, two of them in critical but stable condition, according to the newspaper.
All firefighters are expected to survive, fire officials said.
Some firefighters used power wood to access the building from its roof, while others went inside to find where the fire was coming from, Scott said.
“This was usually the case until they heard loud, high-pitched sounds – they described it as a jet engine spinning – with compressed smoke,” he said.
The subsequent explosion caused a blast at 30 feet wide, Scott said.
“This is one of the worst incidents in recent history,” Scott continued. “Our firefighters were chased off the roof, and the aerial ladder was taken to safety by a blowtorch.”
Investigators with the Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives Bureau were expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Monday to assist with the investigation. Meanwhile, the owner of the business could not be reached for comment, the Times reported.
Business – Delivering THC-containing compounds extracted from cannabis using butane – firefighters no warning boards outside flammable gas, sources He told NBC News.