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Los Angeles considering settlement over South Los Angeles fireworks explosion – NBC Los Angeles

Los Angeles considering settlement over South Los Angeles fireworks explosion – NBC Los Angeles

Los Angeles considering settlement over South Los Angeles fireworks explosion – NBC Los Angeles

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday will consider a settlement with residents of a South Los Angeles neighborhood where a botched illegal fireworks removal operation injured people and damaged homes.

The settlement, which covers about 90% of the people in the neighborhood who stay at the Level Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, will go before the council three years after the June 30, 2021, fireworks explosion during a police bomb squad operation. Seventeen people were injured, 35 properties were damaged and dozens of residents were displaced.

The checks are expected to be issued and families in the hotel will have up to 90 days to find alternative housing, Angelina Valencia, communications director for Councilman Curren Price, told City News Service. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“The councillor is committed to treating these victims with respect and dignity, and has supported them every step of the way,” Valencia said in a statement.

The explosion caught on camera was the result of a bomb squad operation in which several thousand pounds of illegal fireworks were found in a nearby home. A man accused of planning to resell the fireworks ahead of the July 4 holiday was arrested.

The disposal plan was to detonate the fireworks inside an armored truck designed to contain the blast. A report by federal investigators determined that the amount of explosive material loaded into the bomb squad truck for the detonation was greatly underestimated. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said human error likely contributed to the explosion.

“We made significant miscalculations,” Moore said at the time, publicly apologizing to residents.

The full federal report found that the team also ignored warnings from an expert team member who said the cache should be broken up into smaller portions.

The explosion prompted changes in department policy.

At a news conference Monday, some of the families displaced by the explosion shared their uncertainty about whether they will ever be able to return home. The families, with the help of Ron Gochez, a community organizer with Unión del Barrio who has helped organize residents, gathered Monday in the 700 block of East 27th Street, one block east of San Pedro Street, a day after the third anniversary of the explosion to ask Mayor Karen Bass and Price for more help in returning to their homes.

Some of the families expressed concern about being evicted from their temporary housing at the Level Hotel. City officials have not informed the hotel of any eviction plans, Valencia said.

“Council is considering a settlement agreement that includes provisions to allow people the time they need to vacate the hotel,” said Price, whose Ward 9 includes the affected area. “We understand the importance of allowing people to return to their homes and resume their normal lives, and I am committed to facilitating this process with the utmost care.”

Bass and Price have met with some of the families and discussed ways the city can support them.