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Firetruck crash: Cellphone video shows chaotic scene inside restaurant

Video shot on a cellphone moments after a firetruck careened into a Monterey Park restaurant Wednesday shows the chaotic aftermath as patrons and firefighters scrambled to get out from under the rubble.

The video, shot by an employee from inside Lu's Dumpling House off Emerson and Garfield avenues, shows the restaurant's dining area in disarray, with tables and chairs toppled over and what appears to be a person wedged between the front of the firetruck and restaurant furniture. The restaurant's mangled metal window framing dangles from the ceiling.

PHOTOS: Fire truck crashes into Monterey Park restaurant

The restaurant owner said more than a dozen people were inside the restaurant when the crash occurred after two firetrucks, one from Monterey Park, the other from Alhambra, collided at a nearby intersection.

“It’s so crazy, I couldn’t believe it was my restaurant,” said Vivian Lu, who has co-owned the restaurant with her husband for more than three years.

One of the workers described the crash as an earthquake. Some of the people inside were cut by the broken glass, Lu said.

Several people were taken to Garfield Medical Center and Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. At least one person was listed in critical condition but officials wouldn’t identify the victim.

A major-accident team from the California Highway Patrol will investigate the crash, which injured 15 people including six firefighters.

The injured firefighters were equally split between the two trucks.

Officials said they would review everything from the speed of the trucks -- which had their lights and sirens running when they collided -- to radio communications.

“This is the first time I’ve witnessed an accident like this,” Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Birrell said.


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