Aliso Viejo blast: Mystery explosion kills woman in Orange County California

Arturo Kim
May 16, 2018

Authorities have not yet found explosive devices in the area, according to officials. All patients were evacuated and rescue service County orange. The blast occurred at a suite on the first floor of the building, he said.

Officials are unclear what led to the explosion, but are not ruling anything out.

Bomb technicians from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies were investigating, said Paul Delacourt, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's field office in Los Angeles.

A daycare and preschool are near the site of the explosion, but authorities said all of the children are safe.

Investigators believe the blast may have come from a package, according to an official who was briefed on the investigation but wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy says 70 firefighters were dispatched in response to a 1:09 p.m. Tuesday call from Aliso Viejo.

Authorities did not actually enter the building until later in the afternoon, with a bomb squad sifting through the wreckage inside the structure.

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"This is going to be a long process", Bommarito said. "We're going to take each precaution doable earlier than we go in". They said she was very near to the source of the explosion, and that the three people wounded were nearby.

"We'd just like everyone to know that our thoughts are with her family", Sawyer said of the person who was killed. They said they believe the explosion came from inside the building, Bommarito said, since the doors and windows on the bottom floor were "blown out".

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

Witness Mary Mack-Williams described the chaotic scene immediately after the explosion, saying he saw bloodied women fleeing from the building, their faces were covered with ash.

One woman, who had skin peeling on her arm from burns, said, "Take care of my mother", McWilliams said. The other woman was burned and her head was bleeding.

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".

A short time later, he got a call from his daughter and saw Facebook posts about the explosion; he later returned to be among the throngs waiting on a corner for news of what happened. There were early reports that a auto had crashed into the building, but that turned out not to be the case.

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