Southbound 710 Freeway near Bell reopens after tanker fire

All lanes of southbound 710 Freeway near Bell reopen after tanker fire

All lanes of the southbound 710 Freeway near Bell reopened Monday shortly before 4:45 p.m., one day after a gasoline truck overturned and ignited, scorching the pavement on the busy roadway.

Flames of more than 2,000 degrees destroyed the pavement near Atlantic Boulevard to crumbles, making it unsafe for drivers, said Patrick Chandler, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.

On Monday, Caltrans crews jackhammered and poured rapid-setting concrete into two lanes. 

Crews tested samples of the rapid-setting concrete in the morning to ensure the road was strong and safe for drivers. Shortly after 4 p.m., lane stripes were painted on the newly installed concrete before the freeway was completely reopened, Chandler said.

Damage from the Sunday afternoon fire extended 125 feet across five lanes of the freeway, according to Caltrans, and intense heat from the fire also caused metal on the gas tanker to melt. 

The fire created a massive plume of black smoke that was visible for miles.

Officials said the truck was hauling two fuel tanks with about 8,500 gallons of gasoline about 3:25 p.m. when it overturned on the southbound 710 near Florence Avenue in Bell.

It's unclear what caused the truck to overturn. 

No one was hurt in the fire, which was contained by 4:30 p.m., officials said.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


4:54 p.m.: This article has been updated with information that the southbound lanes of the 710 Freeway have reopened.

12:02 p.m.: This story has been updated with latest road opening times and details on the work being done to restore the freeway.

This story was first published at 5:46 a.m.