Authorities in Southern California are continuing their investigation into an explosion that claimed one life and seriously injured two others.
“We do not know the motive behind the case at this time,” Orange County Undersheriff Dan Barnes said at a press conference Wednesday at sheriff’s department headquarters in Santa Ana, 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
One woman was killed in the blast that officials believe was not an accident, but rather caused by a device of some type. The explosion happened around 1:10 p.m. PST Tuesday in a suite in a commercial building in Aliso Viejo. The two injured victims are expected to survive, and another person was treated for smoke inhalation and has since been released.
The blast rocked a day spa in the building, and police have tentatively identified the dead woman as the owner of the spa, Ildiko Krajnyak of Trabuco Canyon, California. She was in her forties.
Multiple agencies are assisting in the investigation, including the FBI and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“At this point, our working theory is that this explosion was caused by a device, and although the damage was extensive there are some components that we have located at the scene of the explosion that are inconsistent with what one might expect to find at this business,” said Paul Delacourt, the assistant FBI director in charge at the Los Angeles field office.
Accidental causes of the explosion, such as a gas main break, have been eliminated, and the explosion is being looked at as a crime. Officials have not yet determined how the device ended up in the spa. “At this time we do not know how the device arrived at the location,” Delacourt said.
The two women who were hurt are believed to have been clients of the business, and they were undergoing surgery on Wednesday.
When asked if other businesses should be worried about being potential targets, Barnes responded “We don’t rule out anything, but at this point there’s nothing that would lead us to believe that there are.”
With extensive damage on the scene, much of the evidence is being transported to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia for analysis.
For more information and updates, please visit the Orange County Sheriff’s Department page.