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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.

Cases: 767409

Reported Deaths: 13980
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1054251805
Lake569191030
Allen42938698
St. Joseph37313568
Hamilton37298426
Elkhart29749470
Tippecanoe23479230
Vanderburgh23201405
Porter19573327
Johnson18822392
Hendricks18072321
Madison13548346
Clark13533198
Vigo12834256
LaPorte12566225
Monroe12546178
Delaware11143198
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Bartholomew8262157
Warrick8069157
Floyd8027182
Grant7366181
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Morgan6910143
Marshall6332116
Dubois6274118
Cass6090111
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Noble599290
Henry5947111
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Brown106043
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Martin92515
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Switzerland8348
Union73610
Ohio58111
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1123964

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1304331493
Cuyahoga1172542263
Hamilton824421261
Montgomery535421062
Summit489021014
Lucas43747834
Butler40000614
Stark33837939
Lorain26029510
Warren24919312
Mahoning22710613
Lake21472396
Clermont20391261
Delaware19143138
Licking16863227
Trumbull16801492
Fairfield16793207
Medina15861276
Greene15528254
Clark14352308
Portage13432218
Wood13343201
Allen12049245
Richland11740213
Miami11019228
Wayne9258228
Columbiana9204236
Muskingum9133137
Pickaway8750123
Tuscarawas8718255
Marion8710140
Erie8135166
Ashtabula7281179
Hancock7048135
Ross7024165
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Scioto6701108
Belmont6222179
Lawrence5947104
Union590949
Jefferson5725162
Huron5638122
Sandusky5488130
Darke5444131
Seneca5377128
Washington5371111
Athens526960
Auglaize507487
Mercer491185
Shelby482797
Knox4614113
Madison447566
Ashland444898
Defiance438799
Fulton436375
Putnam4354104
Crawford4114111
Brown409662
Preble3949107
Logan392179
Clinton390766
Ottawa375881
Highland366068
Williams356678
Champaign349660
Guernsey330554
Jackson321354
Perry298850
Morrow294743
Fayette289150
Hardin279365
Henry277167
Coshocton272961
Holmes2725102
Van Wert252265
Adams249858
Gallia249850
Pike244737
Wyandot235257
Hocking222963
Carroll201249
Paulding179942
Meigs151240
Monroe137945
Noble137739
Harrison115238
Morgan111624
Vinton87317
Unassigned04
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A complex system brings the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms to the region early Thursday morning.
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