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Blast near Jewish center accidental

Blast near Jewish center accidental

April 8th, 2011 in News

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - An explosion Thursday shattered windows at a synagogue and Jewish school and sent a 300-pound pipe into the roof of a house where a child was sleeping, prompting police to evacuate several blocks before experts determined that the blast was caused by an accident, not a bomb.

The explosion next to the Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica "was not terrorist-related at all and appears to be some kind of industrial accident," fire Capt. Mark Bridges said. No injuries were reported.

Someone was trying to remove a large pipe that was stuck in concrete near an alley but the chemical mixture they used created pressure and launched the 4-foot-long pipe and plug of concrete into the air, Bridges said.

"The device lifted up off the ground approximately 25 feet, punched a hole in the (Chabad House) and then ricocheted," Bridges said.

Authorities arrived to find the pipe sticking out of a hole in the roof of a house next door.

"There was a child that was sleeping almost under where the device landed on the roof, but fortunately it didn't break through the rafters," Bridges said.

Inspectors planned to talk to the person who was doing the work behind the house, Bridges said.

About 100 people were evacuated from a four-block area for more than five hours while FBI and Los Angeles County sheriff's bomb experts investigated.