Explosion Near California Chabad House Mechanical in Nature

Rabbi Eli Levitansky approaches the cordoned off area near the S. Monica Chabad house. (Photo: Kurt Orzeck/Santa Monica Patch)

by Joshua Runyan

As authorities worked to clear up the scene of a Thursday morning explosion near S. Monica, Calif.’s downtown Chabad-Lubavitch center, the city’s police department announced that the blast which resulted in the evacuation of a four-block radius around the 1400 block of 17th Street was “not an intentional act.”

“There was no incendiary device,” said SMPD spokeswoman Lauralee Asch. “The explosion was due to a mechanical failure.”

Some witnesses at the Chabad House who had gathered for their 7 a.m. morning prayer services reported hearing some type of explosion, while a call to the police department from a neighboring building reported that debris had fallen on the building’s roof. Police, backed by the city’s fire department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad, evacuated the area.

News footage showed fire fighters examining what looked to be some type of projectile lodged in the roof next door to the Chabad House. Some reports indicated that construction crews had been working with propellants near the area.

Asch said that while a more determinative announcement was forthcoming, investigators had ruled conclusively that the explosion was not criminal in nature.

“My understanding is it’s something to do either with the Chabad building or the adjacent building,” she explained.

courtesy Chabad.org News