A woman looking for recyclables with her two young sons along a remote desert road in the Antelope Valley was killed Friday when she picked up or stepped on an explosive device, authorities said.
The 33-year-old woman, whose name was not immediately released, was killed instantly, according to Deputy Angie McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The victim’s 4-year-old son was injured in the blast and taken to Antelope Valley Hospital Medical Center in Lancaster, where he was listed in stable condition. His 10-year-old brother was not injured.
Homemade pipe bombs have been found in the Littlerock area of the valley where the explosion occurred, but McLaughlin said investigators were unsure what killed the woman.
“She was scavenging for cans and stuff with the two boys when suddenly she either picked up or just stepped on some unknown kind of explosive device,” the deputy said. “We don’t know how it got there or how long it has been there.”