LOS ANGELES — At least nine people were injured Wednesday evening as the Los Angeles Police Department disposed of illegal fireworks it had seized, officials said.
The fireworks were being detonated when the large blast occurred, law enforcement and fire officials told NBC News.
The large explosion, which damaged nearby businesses, structures and cars, happened at 6 p.m. as police were in the process of seizing about 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the residential area, officials said.
News helicopter footage showed what appeared to a bomb squad disposal unit with heavy damage in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of Los Angeles, south of downtown. Windows of a laundromat were shattered.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said several structures sustained varying levels of damage. Search and rescue members were evaluating the structural integrity of the most heavily damaged building.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Phil Helsel contributed.