A deadly blast that ripped through the lobby of a medical facility in southern California may have been sparked by an explosive package, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.
The explosion killed a woman close to the source of the blast and wounded three more around 1 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to authorities.
Dozens of Orange County firefighters rushed to the office building in Aliso Viejo after an explosion tore open a wall facing the street, official said.
“The corner of that building, the whole bottom floor is pretty much blown out,” fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said.
The source told the Daily News the package may have set off the explosion
Investigators believe the blast could have been intentional, The Associated Press reported, citing an official not authorized to speak publicly. Local authorities declined confirm the cause at a press conference Tuesday night.
The supposed explosive device remains elusive as authorities continue to search the blast site.
The building, about 45 miles south of Los Angeles, was believed to be under renovation.
A patient arriving for a doctor’s appointment missed the explosion by mere moments but watched as two women injured in the blast staggered outside covered in burns, ash and soot, according to the Orange County Register.
“Take care of my mother,” one of the women said, according to witness Mary McWilliams.
“I thought it was a little fire until I saw everyone’s faces and reactions,” Williams told the newspaper.
Photos from inside the building show firefighters gathered in the mangled lobby.
FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents joined local authorities on scene to investigate the explosion but offered few clues to the cause during a press conference.
The identify of the woman killed in the blast was not immediately known.
Children at a daycare across the street were evacuated out of precaution.