La Habra, a suburb of Los Angeles, was a chaotic scene yesterday morning after an explosion at a metal-polishing shop that injured eleven people.
The blast occurred around 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Gorilla’s Polishing Corp., a company that plates and polishes metal. Officials will conduct an investigation, but right now it looks like the fire started due to a buildup of dust and lint in the overhead ducts inside the plant. Authorities said at first that some of the chemicals used in the building may have contributed to the fire.
“We know there was magnesium inside the building for the polishing they do,” L.A. County Fire Department Inspector Keith Mora said. “It’s not really an explosive, but mixed with other chemicals it has the potential to be flammable.”
Mike Bremer of neighboring business VIP Rubber Company said he felt the explosion and ran outside to find complete chaos, with several people burned. Of the eleven injured, two were critically wounded and suffered third-degree burns over about 90% of their bodies. Police have not released their names.
“It made my heart jump up into my throat,” Bremer said. “This felt like a bomb going off. It was one big, loud explosion and a steam sound after that. It was chaotic. A couple of people I saw were burned, badly burned. They had their shirts off.”
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