Fireworks explosion kills 2, causes Dh11.7 million in damages

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on March 22, 2021
AFP file photo used for illustrative purpose.

About 80 homes were damaged in the blast.

A massive fireworks explosion in the US killed two people and caused $3.2 million (Dh 11.7 million) in damages.

According to KTLA, residents in Ontario, Southern California fled their homes after the explosion on Tuesday. They returned on Friday to find that debris had rained down over a wide area of the city, damaging 80 homes within the explosion’s blast radius.

The family of the two killed have identified them as cousins Alex Paez, 38, and Cesar Paez, 20.

Fireworks are illegal in Ontario, as in many California cities, and investigators are using bar codes on the explosives to trace where they were purchased. Authorities, including the FBI, are investigating where the huge stash of fireworks came from.

Experts have burned nearly 200 bins — each holding about 27 gallons — full of fireworks to safely destroy them, Ontario spokesman Dan Bell said. Other fireworks were too dangerous to move and had to be burned at the scene.

Other controlled burns are expected to occur over the next few days, Ontario Fire Chief Ray Gayk said. Ammunition was also found among the debris.

Ontario Police Chief Mike Lorenz said the investigation may eventually result in state or federal charges but authorities are still working to determine how the fireworks got to the city and what caused the explosion.

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