Explosion at California medical facility appears to be intentional act, source says

16 May, 2018, 11:48 | Author: Carlos George
  • Firefighters at the scene of the Aliso Viejo explosion

The cause of the blast remained a mystery for much of the day, with officials initially believing a auto had smashed into the building.

In a news conference Tuesday night, Orange County Sheriff's Department Commander Dave Sawyer said it was unclear whether the explosion was intentional or accidental.

The county's bomb squad and a hazmat team are preparing to search the building where the explosion occurred.

There's no "initial indication" of terrorism right now, Mike Gifford, spokesperson for Federal Bureau of Investigation in Los Angeles, said.

"We have not found any type of specific device inside of the building right now that would tell us or lead us to exactly what the device was - if there was a device", Sawyer said.

"The corner of that building, the whole bottom floor is pretty much blown out", fire Capt.

However, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun said no auto was involved in the explosion and there is an investigation to find out what caused it, according to NBC.

Dong Shin, a witness, said he heard a loud boom minutes before his appointment in a nearby building.

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An Orange County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said: "We're trying to determine if a vehicle was involved or if it was an accident or inside the building". The official said the information was based on a preliminary investigation.

The blast occurred at an office building at around 1.25pm local time (9.25pm BST).

Sheriff's deputies were called to the same block of Mareblu at 11:35 p.m. Monday for a "patrol check", according to sheriff's records.

Video from the scene showed teachers leading the children along a sidewalk toward the Target store.

Bommarito said one of the injured people suffered from smoke inhalation, but the extent of the other victims' injuries was unknown.

"Then everyone started running out of buildings everywhere with looks on their faces of just horror", the woman said.

McWilliams said she saw two burned women staggering out of the building, covered in ash and soot.

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