Deadly blast in Southern California medical building investigated as intentional


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.

A federal official told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the explosion is believed to have been intentional and may have come from a package. Bomb technicians are inside the medical building in Aliso Viejo, which was undergoing a renovation, to determine the cause, officials said.

The sheriff's department is partnering with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who will assist the investigation.

The FBI said there was no initial indication of terrorism, but the agency would continue to investigate.

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Children are seen being wheeled out in cribs as crews evacuate the preschool Academy on the Hills after a fatal gas leak explosion at a nearby office building. One of those three suffered smoke inhalation. Tony Bommarito, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority.

Although the cause of the blast was still unknown, Bommarito told reporters around 3:30 p.m. that there was "no immediate hazard" to the community. The blast caused extensive damage to buildings in the area, Sawyer said.

The explosion, in a normally tranquil South Orange County city, prompted the evacuation of nearby businesses and a school filled with children, officials said.

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

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Witnesses told the local station that she saw two people, completely covered in ash, exiting the building with singed hair and skin peeling off their wrists.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and three others were injured, OCFA said. No children were injured, officials said.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department stated in response to news reports: "Despite media reports quoting unnamed sources, we have not confirmed that the explosion is intentional, nor have we conclusively identified the source of the explosion".

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