News And Politics

Investigation continues in deadly South LA explosion

June 14, 2012, 12:24 p.m.

To the rear of Bembis Meat Market is a small unmarked annex which had a bumper stick on the door that said "NOSWerks." NOSWerks' Twitter account indicates that it at one point sold nitrous oxide. (Credit: José Martinez/OnCentral)

A neighboring storeowner says she saw a young women of about 18 years covered in blood after a deadly explosion took place Wednesday night near the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Grand Avenue.

Isabel Pubell, who owns an herbal shop on Adams, said around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday she heard a "boom, a loud noise."

"I ran to the front door to see what happened and went to the market at the corner," she said. "Everybody who has a business here was running to see what happened. I saw a girl bleeding and they had some ice [on her] and then the police came."

Pubell estimated the girl to be about 17 or 18 years old.

Three people were injured and one died as a result of the explosion, according to officials. LAFD City Fire Spokesman Matt Spence confirmed to KPCC that "there was a single explosion of an unknown gas cylinder to the rear of the [market]."

An unmarked annex is behind the market, and a bumper sticker on the screen door says "NOSWerks."

"Nos" is typically slang for the use of nitrous oxide gas. Some use the gas to improve the performance of certain vehicles, while others huff the compound for recreational drug use.

The one tweet published on NOSWerks' Twitter account indicates that it did at one point sell nitrous oxide refills:

The Los Angeles Times reported that the business "stores nitrous oxide cylinders used to power mini-bikes and g-carts."

One of the other victims was in fair condition, while two others were critical.

LAFD spokesman Brian Humphries noted, "When we took people to the hospital, they were all alive or they hadn't been declared dead."

An official from the L.A. County Department of the Coroner did not "have anything to report" as of press time.

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