SANTA MONICA - A makeshift explosive device that went off in the underground parking garage of a Santa Monica apartment building was probably the work of a young prankster, police said today.

No one was injured and nothing was damaged in the explosion, which was reported at 8:39 p.m. Monday at 1413 Ocean Park Blvd., near 14th Street, said Santa Monica police Sgt. Bill Heric.

The device consisted of a capped plastic beverage bottle with some kind of acid and aluminum foil inside, Heric said. The acid and aluminum react, producing gas inside the container, he said.

"The pressure builds up (and) it explodes," Heric said. "Commonly kids do it to mess around."

Santa Monica police Sgt. Douglas Kohno said the device would only have posed a danger if someone had been holding it when it went off.

"It's probably one step above a firecracker," he said.

It was most likely the work of young prankster as opposed to someone looking to do serious damage or cause injury, Kohno said.

Still, the blast was thunderous and shook the building, a resident told a news photographer at the scene. A Santa Monica Fire Department Hazmat crew and police forensics unit responded to the garage to investigate, the photographer reported.


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