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Battery, not pipe bomb, blamed for Santa Ana hardware store blast

September 04, 2013|By Adolfo Flores

A blast early Wednesday at a Santa Ana hardware story that investigator initially suspected was caused by a pipe bomb is now being blamed on a battery that exploded.

Authorities "determined it was some type of battery; how it exploded we don't know," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

"Why it was there we don't know," he added.

The explosion at Orchard Supply Hardware at 1975 E. 17th St. occurred at about 9 a.m., Bertagna said. Authorities initially feared that a pipe bomb might have detonated. The battery went off near one of the store's exits, but no one was injured.

A customer who was walking past the exit said he heard a hissing noise before the explosion. The blast was followed by smoke.

"He heard it and hit the ground," Bertagna said. "He was fine."

The store was evacuated while the Orange County Sheriff's Department bomb squad investigated. The evacuation was lifted and the area reopened at about 11:30 a.m.

The store, which is scheduled to close and is having a clearance sale, returned to business as usual shortly afterward.

Employees declined to comment on the incident.


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