Aliso Viejo Explosion in California Killing Woman Investigated as Intentional

17 May, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Aliso Viejo blast: Mystery explosion kills woman in Orange County California

After the explosion, bomb squad investigators arrived on the scene to search for more risky devices, while children at a nearby day care were evacuated.

The official was briefed on the investigation but wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

A sheriff's official said late Tuesday that no specific device had been found.

Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

An explosion at a medical office building in Southern California that killed at least one person and seriously wounded three others is reportedly being investigated as possibly intentional.

Mary McWilliams told the Orange County Register that she arrived for an appointment to find smoke surrounding the area and auto alarms going off.

Bomb technicians and agents from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene Tuesday night. Orange County Sheriff's Cmdr.

Authorities have begun processing the inside of the building, Orange County Sheriff's Commander Dave Sawyer said.

"At this point, our working theory is that this explosion was caused by a device, and although the damage was extensive, there are some components that we have located at the scene that are inconsistent with what one might expect to find at this business", added Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. The three people who were injured were nearby and were being questioned by investigators late Tuesday night, he said.


A deputy stands watch as the Orange County hazmat team and bomb squad investigate the scene of an explosion in Aliso Viejo on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

McWilliams says she saw two women covered in ash and soot stagger out of the building. One of them reportedly said "take care of my mother, take care of my mother". The other woman was burned and her head was bleeding.

Federal, state and local authorities, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, are investigating the blast, which occurred on the first floor of a building that was under renovation.

Several media outlets, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said the explosion Tuesday afternoon was intentional and may have come from a device that was delivered to the building at 11 Mareblue.

Still, it is not yet known if she was the victim killed, as the coroner has not yet formally released the deceased woman's name.

Photos from inside the building showed that the blast was so strong it blew out windows and caved in the ceiling and walls.

Although the cause of the blast was still unknown, Bommarito told reporters Tuesday afternoon that there was "no immediate hazard" to the community. No children were injured, officials said. Babies were seen being wheeled out of the facility in cribs, and toddlers held hands with each other and firefighters as they walked to a nearby Target for safety.

Authorities say the dead woman had been inside the building. The woman who died was inside the building when the blast occurred. They expected a lengthy investigation to determine the cause.

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