Dye Pack Explodes Accidentally at Bank

A dye pack accidentally exploded in the vault of a Santa Monica Bank branch in Encino on Monday morning, injuring a teller and temporarily shutting down the bank.

The accident happened at 15910 Ventura Blvd. at 8:50 a.m.--before the bank was open--as a teller was carrying a cash drawer through the vault to his window, said bank spokeswoman Marika Cronin-Rose.

A dye pack at the bottom of the drawer spontaneously exploded, emitting eye-irritating fumes that filled the vault.

Dye packs are used to stain money stolen in bank robberies and some of the devices discharge mildly toxic fumes when activated.


The teller, whose name was not released, was taken by ambulance to Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for minor eye injuries and released, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department statement.

The bank, which delayed its usual opening time, resumed business shortly after the incident and the teller returned to work, the bank spokeswoman said.