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Illegal fireworks injure teen worker in downtown L.A.

July 3, 2010 |  3:03 pm

A 17-year-old worker sustained injuries to his face and hands Friday in downtown Los Angeles after he dropped a box of fireworks and it exploded, authorities said.

Police officers responded to a report of an explosion at a small shop in the toy district, near the intersection of 4th and Wall streets, said Officer Sara Faden of the Los Angeles Police Department. The employee, whose name was not released, was taken by paramedics to a local hospital. His condition was not known as of Saturday.

The business owner was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, Faden said. His name was not immediately available. Inside the store, authorities discovered about 160 cases of illegal "party poppers" -- novelty items that contain a small amount of explosives.

The use or sale of all fireworks has been illegal in the city of Los Angeles since 1942, with the exception of approved pyrotechnic shows, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The LAPD bomb squad destroyed the items at the scene using a special armored truck.

-- Ruben Vives

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