Fatal California explosion likely caused by device, authorities say

A deadly explosion at a California day spa that killed the business owner, was likely caused by a device and was not ...

Posted: May 17, 2018 12:14 PM
Updated: May 17, 2018 12:14 PM

A deadly explosion at a California day spa that killed the business owner, was likely caused by a device and was not accidental, authorities said Wednesday.

The explosion Tuesday blew out walls and windows of the facility, heavily damaging the business, which was on the first floor of a two-story medical office building in Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, according to Orange County officials. The powerful blast injured three people and caused the ground to shake in nearby structures.

Evidence shows the materials believed to be involved in the explosion were not consistent with items used at a day spa, Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes said. Authorities are treating the explosion as a crime, but are still working to confirm if the blast was intentional. No arrests have been made.

Earlier, a law enforcement source told CNN that the explosion may have been detonated on purpose, but the source also cautioned that the investigation was in its preliminary stages.

"At this point, we do not believe this was an accident. We've ruled out a gas main explosion and other potential theories," said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office. "At this point, our working theory is that this explosion was caused by a device."

Delacourt said it is "premature to speculate on the nature of the components" of the device.

Authorities are still trying to determine how the device arrived at the location, Delacourt said. He said there is no indication there is a second device.

Barnes said investigators don't know the motive at this point.

Barnes said authorities believe the victim who was killed in the blast was Ildiko Krajnyak of Trabuco Canyon. Public records show that Krajnyak was 48; authorities said she was 40.

A voicemail message for the spa, Magyar Kozmetika, said Tuesday would be Krajnyak's first day back from a trip.

Two women, believed to be patrons of the day spa, are undergoing surgery and are expected to survive. A third woman suffered smoke inhalation and was treated and released at the scene.

Authorities served three search warrants Wednesday -- one at the Aliso Viejo business, one in Long Beach and one in Trabuco Canyon, Barnes said.

Explosion felt 'like a big earthquake'

Dong Shin, a witness, said he heard a loud boom minutes before his Tuesday appointment in a nearby building.

"And the ground shook," he said. "While the ground was shaking ... my body jolted and my head hit the wall."

Shin said it felt like "a big earthquake," and as he and others rushed downstairs to get out of the nearby building, he saw two holes in the wall of the medical facility. He also saw "fire, smoke, insulation popping out of the walls, a lot of scared people running around, a lot of commotion," he said.

One woman who ran out of the medical facility had her face covered in blood, Shin said.

The blast, which erupted around 1 p.m (4 p.m. ET), caused extensive damage to buildings in the area, Orange County Sheriff's Department Commander Dave Sawyer said earlier.

"Anytime you see an explosion of this magnitude, it would definitely be suspicious to us, and that's why we rolled out all the resources to get to the bottom of it," Sawyer said earlier.

Nothing indicates there were any threats made before the blast, Sawyer said.

There was no initial indication of terrorism, FBI spokesman Mike Gifford said.

The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting investigators.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
Warren81421
Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
Perry321
Van Wert320
Henry290
Paulding230
Adams221
Pike220
Vinton222
Jackson180
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
More Heat & Humidity Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events