Explosion Reportedly Shakes Santa Monica Apartment Building

Small but "thunderous" explosion reported in underground parking garage on Ocean Park Boulevard near 14th Street.

A makeshift explosive device that went off in the underground parking garage of a Santa Monica apartment building was probably the work of a young prankster, police said Tuesday.

No one was injured and nothing was damaged in the explosion, which was reported at 8:39 p.m. Monday at 1413 Ocean Park Blvd., near 14th Street, said Santa Monica police Sgt. Bill Heric.

The device consisted of a capped plastic beverage bottle with some kind of acid and aluminum foil inside, Heric said.

The acid and aluminum react, producing gas inside the container, he said.

"The pressure builds up [and] it explodes," Heric said. "Commonly kids do it to mess around."

Santa Monica police Sgt. Douglas Kohno said the device would only have posed a danger if someone had been holding it when it went off.

"It's probably one step above a firecracker," he said.

It was most likely the work of young prankster as opposed to someone looking to do serious damage or cause injury, Kohno said.

Still, the blast was thunderous and shook the building, a resident told a news photographer at the scene. A Santa Monica Fire Department Hazmat crew and police forensics unit responded to the garage to investigate, the photographer reported.

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j atkins December 18, 2012 at 04:25 PM
It's time to take "kids messing around" seriously.
Glenn E Grab December 18, 2012 at 04:53 PM
a hazmat team, for this?.....I.m surprised they didn't lock down all the schools within a 5 mile radius...
PHIL HENDRICKS December 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Way, way past time! However, the blame also lies with their parents who are all too frequently permisive.
Mike E. December 19, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Google <acid bomb> and you'll learn more than you'd ever want to know about them. It's a spreading fad with kids around the country. What they need to know is if they're using Muriatic acid, (hydrochloric acid), which is highly caustic, they're risking injury to both themselves and to their victims probably far more with the spraying Muriatic acid than with flying pieces of very thin plastic. The demonstration I saw on YouTube showed the bottle being slowly expanded like a balloon before it finally burst very dramatically, following which it still looked pretty much intact. Maybe the schools need to educate the kids, this goes way beyond just playing with fire. Maybe they also need to know, once the final ingredient is added these things go off very quickly in 20 to 30 seconds.


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