PHOTOS: Tanker fire shuts down major Calif. freeway

EMBED </>More Videos

The southbound lanes of the 710 Freeway in Bell remain closed Monday morning following a massive tanker truck fire over the weekend. (Ludwing Perez / KABC)

The southbound lanes of the 710 Freeway in Bell remain closed Monday morning following a massive tanker truck fire over the weekend.

Caltrans officials said two of the four lanes of the 710 may reopen from Atlantic Boulevard to Florence Avenue as soon as 3 p.m. Monday. The rest of the lanes were expected to reopen sometime Tuesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The northbound lanes were reopened around 9 p.m. Sunday.

The tanker crashed south of Atlantic Boulevard at 3:30 p.m. between Slauson Avenue and Bandini Boulevard, according to authorities.

PHOTOS: Tanker truck explodes on 710 Freeway in Bell

The driver, along with a passenger, was pulling a double trailer. At some point, the driver heard a popping sound and saw the second trailer begin to tip over. The driver pulled over and the pair ran from the truck.

"He heard a loud pop. He looked in his rear view mirror and he saw that he either lost a tire or experienced a flat in his rear trailer. At that point, he saw that the trailer had overturned," said Officer Juan Galvan with California Highway Patrol.

The tanker had 8,500 gallons of fuel in two tanks, but only one burst into flames. The smoke was visible for miles.

Los Angeles County Fire officials said no injuries were reported. Firefighters used foam to put out the flames.

Capt. Keith Mora said firefighters had to drag the fire hose across the northbound lanes over to the southbound lanes to put out the fire.

"We're containing the spill of gasoline, so that it doesn't go any further south, with crews that just are diking and damming," he said. "We also had a small area of brush or grass, about 100 feet, that caught on fire."

Drivers trapped in snarled traffic said the scene was terrifying.

Another tanker truck was brought out to capture the remaining fuel. Caltrans crews were working as fast as possible to repair the damage. The freeway spans 120 feet across four lanes plus the shoulder. Officials say the road was burned so badly, that it is not safe for cars to drive on. The affected stretch of the 710 is being repaved before lanes can be reopened to traffic.

Related Topics:
firetruck firetruck crashfreewayCHPcaltransroad repairtraffic delayu.s. & worldCalifornia
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments