Explosion on property of Jewish organization in Santa Monica leads to evacuation, street closures
Officers were evacuating a 1-square-block area around the site of an explosion on the property of a Jewish religious facility in Santa Monica. No one was injured in the blast, which was reported about 6:45 a.m. Thursday and occurred in the 1400 block of 17th Street, said Sgt. Darrick Jacob, a watch commander with the Santa Monica Police Department.
Besides the evacuation zone, officers were diverting traffic in a larger area and bomb-sniffing dogs were on the scene to gather evidence and as a precaution in the event there were explosive devices in the vicinity, Jacob said.
Santa Monica police had at least 30 personnel on scene. The bomb squad of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was also taking part in the investigation and the local fire department was standing by.
A separate police source said the FBI also was involved.
Santa Monica police were not prepared to call the event a bombing, even though there were initial reports that a pipe bomb exploded, nor has there been a report regarding damage on the property of Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica. Calls to Chabad were not immediately returned.
Jacob said police got word of the explosion when debris landed on a house nearby.
-- Howard Blume
Map: Shows location of incident in black. Credit: Mapping L.A.
Photo: Authorities set up a command post at 16th and Broadway streets in Santa Monica. Credit: Sam Allen / Los Angeles Times