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Police Close 12 Blocks of Sepulveda in Acid Spill

Times Staff Writer

A 12-block stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach was closed for several hours Tuesday night and Wednesday morning after about 20 gallons of acid leaked from a tank truck.

The spill was discovered about 9 p.m. Tuesday by a motorist who saw smoke rising from the street, said Manhattan Beach police, who found that the smoke was caused by the acid reacting with the pavement.

No injuries were reported, and authorities could not immediately determine what type of acid had been spilled.

Even though the truck driver apparently knew that his truck was leaking the acid, he did not stop, said Fire Capt. Tony Arce. A witness reported that the driver got out of the truck at one point along Sepulveda, adjusted a valve and drove off, Arce said.

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Shortly before 9 p.m., the boulevard was closed in both directions from 2nd Street to Marine Avenue. Police officers from Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach and El Segundo helped Manhattan Beach officers direct traffic around the spill.

Northbound lanes were reopened about midnight; southbound lanes were reopened about 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Los Angeles County health officials helped investigate the incident. A private cleanup company neutralized the acid with sodium bicarbonate and water.

Arce said the witness was able to provide investigators with a partial description of the truck.

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