Fatal Aliso Viejo Blast Caused By Explosive Device, Officials Say
ALISO VIEJO (CBSLA) – An explosion Tuesday afternoon which killed one woman and injured three others at a medical office building in Aliso Viejo was caused by an explosive device authorities announced at a news conference Wednesday. Although no arrests have been made, investigators say they "do not believe this was an accident."
The explosion occurred at approximately 1:10 p.m. Tuesday in a day spa located on the ground floor of a two-story outpatient medical clinic located at 11 Mareblu.
"At this time we have ruled out the potential for this to be an accident," Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes told reporters Wednesday.
The deceased victim was identified Wednesday as 48-year-old Ildiko Krajnyak, the owner of the day spa called Magyar Kozmetika. Two other people, believed to be patrons, suffered injuries which required surgery and are expected to survive. A third person was treated for smoke inhalation.
Authorities would not confirm if they had identified any specific suspects or a motive in the attack.
"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 that are inconsistent with what one might expect to find at this business," said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office.
Two separate search warrants were served early Wednesday morning at homes in Trabuco Canyon and Long Beach in connection with the case.
FBI investigators searched the home in Trabuco Canyon on Drover Court where Krajnyak was believed to have been living with her estranged husband. The couple were in the process of losing the home to foreclosure, according to court records.
A CBS2 helicopter also captured footage of FBI agents Wednesday serving a warrant on a home on East El Paseo Street in Long Beach. A bomb disposal vehicle was parked outside the while agents came in and out of the home. It was unclear how that home was linked to the investigation.
Officials said it is still unclear how the explosive device was delivered to the day spa.
"At this time, we do not know how the device arrived at the location," Delacourt said.
Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service issued a statement to CBS2 in which it said that it did not deliver the alleged package in question.
"The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the federal law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service, has determined the package in question did not go through the Postal Service mail system," the statement read.
All businesses on Mariblu would remain closed Wednesday.
Photos from inside the building showed that the blast was so strong it blew out windows and caved in the ceiling and walls.
"And (I) saw two women come out, full of blood, hair singed, just glass stuck to their hair, glass stuck to their bodies," one witness told CBS2. "Their skin was burnt and peeled back."
Following the explosion, surrounding buildings were evacuated, including the neighboring Academy on the Hills, a Montessori private preschool located at 10 Mareblu. Some of the children had to be transported in their cribs. Officials said no children were injured.
Along with the FBI, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was assisting the sheriff's department bomb squad and an Orange County Fire Authority hazmat team with the investigation.
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