SFPD bomb squad faces scrutiny after detonation

The San Francisco police bomb squad is facing scrutiny after a detonation at market in the Sunset District.
January 15, 2014 4:46:58 PM PST
The San Francisco police bomb squad is doing damage control after detonating a device in the Sunset District last night that caused considerable destruction. Police said they followed protocol, but the neighbors say the blast from the bomb detonation started a fire and blew out windows and walls.

San Francisco police told ABC7 News they want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. They said it was a delicate and dangerous situation. The explosion rattled nerves and shook homes on 46th Avenue just off Judah in the Sunset District.

"My house shook and I am lucky that my house windows are still okay and not broken," SF resident Simon Huong.

Huong lives across the street from the house where the family found a suspicious device belonging to a relative who had recently died. The bomb squad spent nearly three hours last night examining the object. During that time, officers locked down the neighborhood.

"Then I tried to open my door to see what was going on and the officers said, 'we don't want you to leave the house, we can't let you out,'" said Huong.

The officers say in these situations they usually use a robot to move the object, but in this case it detonated inside the house causing severe damage to the home and blowing out a window at the corner store.

"If they can move it, they will try to. In this incident, it was determined that it was too dangerous to move it. That would have actually compromised public safety and officer safety," said San Francisco Police Dept. Officer Gordon Shyy.

Residents a block away said it was startling.

"You could feel the boom. It was at the corner and I'm almost at the other end of the corner. You heard everything, you heard the bomb, the screaming, the sirens," said Resident Annette Crespo.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the street was still blocked off. Police want to gather more evidence from the home.

Despite the property damage, officers feel grateful.

"In this incident, we are very fortunate that no one was hurt, but that is because we were following the procedures that have been set in place," said Shyy.

Police will send the evidence to a laboratory for testing. It could be days or weeks before they know what the device was and what was inside of it.

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