Southern California explosion being probed as intentional

Charlene Craig
May 16, 2018

An explosion at a California medical building on Tuesday - which left one person dead and three others injured - was the result of "an intentional detonation", according to FBI investigators.

Firefighters put out a small fire and found one woman dead inside the building, the authorities said.

The FBI is responding to the scene, a law enforcement official told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton. Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said no children were injured and all are accounted for.

"We are still trying to determine if this explosion was accidental or intentional", said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

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

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.

McWilliams says she saw two women covered in ash and soot stagger out of the building. The cause of the blast is being investigated.

One woman, who had skin peeling on her arm from burns, said, "Take care of my mother", McWilliams said.

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Dong Shin said he had seen "fire, smoke, insulation popping out of the walls, a lot of scared people running around, a lot of commotion". Initially it was reported that the auto crashed into the building, but later it became known that the explosion occurred inside the centre. The other woman was burned and her head was bleeding.

By mid-afternoon, officials said they did not believe there was any further threat to the community.

Braun said the two survivors had critical injuries "that were consistent with an explosion, but not necessarily consistent with a bomb".

Little children holding hands and others being pushed in rolling cribs were led by firefighters to a Target parking lot to be united with parents.

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