Explosion North Hollywood: Residents Evacuated, Bomb Squad Investigates

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 07:41 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Residents of a North Hollywood neighborhood were forced to briefly evacuate early Tuesday morning after a truck explosion rocked a one-block area.

The Los Angeles Police Department called in a bomb squad to investigate the incident. Authorities told KTLA they initially believe that a propane tank inside the cab of the truck may have accidently exploded. 

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The pickup truck sat behind a home in the neighborhood. The explosion blew the truck's roof off, damaged the home and shattered the windows of several homes in the area, authorities said.

The bomb squad found one propane tank still intact inside the truck, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It was a pretty good boom," Los Angeles Police Sgt. Mike Kammert said.

Los Angeles Police Lt. Todd Hankel said that no injuries were reported in connection with the explosion. 

"It caused extensive damage to the vehicle and damage to the surrounding buildings," Hankel told KNBC-TV. "We were unable to determine the source of the explosion, so we evacuated the area. We are trying to determine if this is criminal in nature."

A preliminary report indicated that the pickup's owner may have been showing the truck to a potential buyer on Monday when a valve on one of the two propane tanks inside the cab opened unintentionally, causing the explosion.

"It sounded like a bomb," neighbor Josh Jenkins told KTLA-TV.

Another neighbor, Laura Weir, recalled her experience.

"I heard a big loud noise and the dog started barking. The next thing I know, I see the helicopters. I see the fire department," she said.

Police asked neighbors within a block of the explosion to voluntary evacuate as a precaution. About 30 residents followed the order and were allowed to return to their homes once the investigation was completed late Tuesday morning, Hankel told KTLA.

It was the second time in weeks that the department's bomb squad had to be called out. The unit investigated dry ice bomb explosions at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month in which two men have now been arrested in what appeared to be pranks.

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