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Truck fire closes portion of 5 Freeway in Elysian Valley area

Traffic on the 5 Freeway in the Elysian Valley area was stopped Saturday morning when a tanker truck caught fire at a transition road tunnel at the interchange of the 2 and 5 freeways, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The truck was carrying 7,500 gallons of fuel, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Traffic over the top of the tunnel was halted in the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at the interchange, according to CHP Officer Ed Jacobs. Motorists should use the 101 and 134 freeways as alternate routes, according to the CHP.

As of 12:10 p.m., all southbound lanes of the 5 Freeway were reopened. Northbound lanes remain closed at the 2 Freeway.

Although there were some initial reports of injuries and one death due to the fire, which was reported about 10:30 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said there is no indication anyone was hurt in the mishap. The truck driver was uninjured, fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

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Humphrey said there were reports of a “potential public hazard near manhole covers/storm drains in the area due to explosive runoff” from the overturned truck.

The bulk of the fuel has burned off and much of it has gone into the Los Angeles River, he said. Most of the flames have been extinguished, though firefighters were battling small fires in the Los Angeles River, he said.

The Fire Department is working with local, regional, state and federal environmental authorities to minimize the impact of the spill, he said.

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bob.pool@latimes.com

samantha.schaefer@latimes.com


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