Southern California explosion being probed as intentional

One dead after explosion at Aliso Viejo office building

- AP is reporting that a US official says a deadly explosion at a Southern California office building is being investigated as an intentional act and investigators believe the blast may have come from a package. No children were hurt, officials said. The official was briefed on the investigation but wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding, according a spokesperson from each agency.

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

Firefighters and sheriff's deputies escort children from Academy on the Hill pre-k school in Aliso Viejo, Calif., on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, after a fatal explosion nearby.

Officials declared a second-alarm fire and hazmat situation, and crews successfully extinguished a fire at the building after the explosion.

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Shin said he also saw "fire, smoke, insulation popping out of the walls, a lot of scared people running around, a lot of commotion". Dave Sawyer, however, told reporters at an early evening briefing that investigators "don't know if it was an intentional detonation of a device".

"Anytime you see an explosion of this magnitude, it would definitely be suspicious to us and that's why we rolled out all the resources to get to the bottom of it", he said.

A witness describes seeing two women with burns following an explosion that killed one person and injured three at a Southern California medical office building.

McWilliams said she saw two burned women staggering out of the building, covered in ash and soot.

"Take care of my mother, take care of my mother!" shouted one woman as she fled, according to NBC4. The injured were taken to a hospital.

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He said investigators had not found an explosive device at the scene on a lower floor of the building.

Carrie Braun, an Orange County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, said authorities were working to determine if the explosion was an accident or an intentional act, the newspaper reported.

The identity of the female victim who was killed, has yet to be released.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said they are not actively seeking a suspect. The woman who died was inside the building when the blast occurred. Surrounding buildings have also been evacuated. They were being reunited with parents at a nearby store parking lot.

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