Authorities Investigate California Explosion as Intentional

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The official said the information was based on a preliminary investigation.

Authorities had not found an explosive device Tuesday night but were searching through debris that was left after the blast. However, authorities will continue to investigate possible terrorism out of caution.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding, according a spokesperson from each agency. OCFA said a bomb squad was sent in to assess the situation and investigate the cause of the blast.

Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

The explosion, in a normally tranquil South Orange County city, prompted the evacuation of nearby businesses and a school filled with children, officials said.

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Bommarito said one of the injured people suffered from smoke inhalation, but the extent of the other victims' injuries was unknown.

The sheriff's department has stressed that the investigation remains at an early stage.

Orange County Sheriff's Cmdr.

Fire and sheriff's officials said the building appeared to be undergoing some type of renovation.

McWilliams says she saw two women covered in ash and soot stagger out of the building.

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One woman, who had skin peeling on her arm from burns, said, "Take care of my mother", McWilliams said. The other woman was burned and her head was bleeding.

The powerful blast blew out almost the entire bottom floor, officials said.

Officials originally believed the explosion was caused by a vehicle crashing into the building, but Orange County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun said no auto was involved and the department was investigating how the explosion occurred. A woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and three others were injured, OCFA said.

By mid-afternoon, officials said they did not believe there was any further threat to the community.

The blast occurred at an office building at around 1.25pm local time (9.25pm BST). The injured were taken to a hospital. Other people could be seen wheeling cribs down the street as the area was evacuated. They were being reunited with parents at a nearby store parking lot.

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