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Oxygen Tank Damage Prompts Evacuation

The 600 block of Mott Street in San Fernando was evacuated for about an hour Wednesday night after a 50-gallon tank of potentially hazardous liquid oxygen was damaged while being delivered by a medical supply firm, fire officials said.

Vapors escaped from the tank’s broken release valve, but no liquid spilled, said Battalion Chief Neil Bullock of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

The tank was damaged when a delivery truck for Vital Aire, a Sun Valley medical supply company, stopped in the driveway of a house about 7 p.m. When the van braked, a bracket came loose and the tank fell to the vehicle’s floor, breaking the release valve, Bullock said. Firefighters were summoned. They removed the tank and closed the valve.

Mott Street was evacuated between Wolfskill and Fox streets for about an hour.

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Bullock said liquid oxygen can become explosive if it touches asphalt or other substances containing hydrocarbons. There were no injuries.


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