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Loose Gas Tank Fuels Tangle on Ventura Freeway

The propane fuel tank that partly broke free from a large truck on the Ventura Freeway on Friday holds only 50 gallons, but that was big enough to cause a traffic jam that stretched at least 2 miles.

The accident closed the eastbound freeway lanes in Woodland Hills at De Soto Avenue, trapping holiday weekend motorists in a parking lot that stretched westward beyond Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

The fuel tank broke free from a large truck about 3 p.m., halting the truck and causing a fuel leak that briefly raised fears of dangerous fumes or fire. A hazardous materials team was dispatched, the California Highway Patrol said.

Two eastbound lanes were re-opened after 15 minutes, but it was not until 90 minutes after the accident that all freeway lanes were reopened, the CHP said.

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