Overturned Fuel Truck Blocks Downtown Freeway Transition

Red and white big rig semi trucks with grilles standing in line on truck stop lot

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A big rig loaded with propane overturned this morning on a busy transition road from the Harbor (110) Freeway to the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, snarling traffic in the area for hours but resulting in no injuries.

The accident was reported at 4:29 a.m. on the transition from the northbound Harbor Freeway to the eastbound Santa Monica Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The big rig was under a bridge, which made it more difficult for heavy- duty tow trucks to right it. A SigAlert was issued at 4:44 a.m. shutting down the transition for what was expected to be several hours.

The full load was estimated to weigh 9,000 pounds, said the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart.

"LAFD HazMat Squad confirmed there are no propane leaks at this time," Stewart said in a statement around daybreak. "There is slight damage to the tank. The only leak was of engine oil which has been diked and prevented from spreading. There are no signs of fuel leaking.

"The normal operation for this type of incident involves the off- loading of the load into an empty tanker prior to the overturned vehicle being moved upright," Stewart said. "The tanker company has an empty truck en route and the next step actions are being evaluated. This is a static situation and firefighters have protection lines -- charged handlines -- in place as standard precaution."

Shortly before 8 a.m., the LAFD reported that the propane tank portion had been disconnected from the tractor, and the tank was safely uprighted onto its tires.

Stewart said the driver got out of the truck safely, and there were no injuries.

The transition road was reopened shortly after noon, according to the CHP. The circumstances of the crash remained under investigation.

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