Two southbound lanes of the 710 Freeway were cleared Sunday evening by structural engineers as safe for traffic in the wake of a fiery big-rig tanker crash.
The remaining southbound lanes were expected to be open by 5 a.m. Monday, in time for rush-hour traffic, according to the California Department of Transportation. Normal traffic had already resumed on the northbound side.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, but the incident log of the California Highway Patrol indicated that the driver may have lost control after a flat tire.
The truck crashed into a side rail and burst into flame as it dangled over the side of the road. The driver suffered serious burns; an update on the driver's condition was not immediately available.
About 8,000 gallons of fuel spilled. Some of it flowed downhill onto a road that ran alongside the highway, setting two parked trucks on fire, incinerating them.
"They are gone," said Caltrans public information officer Patrick Chandler.
The fire also damaged a railing along the freeway bridge, which crews worked to replace Sunday night.
The northbound lanes of the freeway opened about 90 minutes after the 9:30 a.m. crash.
Thick, black smoke billowed into the air as Los Angeles County firefighters worked to douse the burning truck. Some nearby residents were evacuated. Later in the day, some were out washing soot from their cars.
In July, a tanker carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline burst into flames in Elysian Valley, weakening the tunnel that connects the northbound 2 Freeway with the northbound 5 Freeway.
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