1,600 pounds of live fish spill as delivery truck flips in Irvine

In human terms, the three-vehicle crash in Irvine was casualty free. But as for the 1,600 pounds of live fish that sloshed onto the roadway after a truck flipped over Thursday, well, that’s another story.

The load of life fish, which authorities believed to be saltwater bass, spilled near the intersection of Walnut and Yale avenues in front of a local firehouse, said Capt. Marc Stone of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Stone said the fish -- estimated to be worth roughly $13,000 -- were stored in large tanks that cracked open, and when firefighters opened the back of the truck, many of the fish spilled out, some dead and others still flopping around.

"Some of them were still alive at the time, but obviously they were deteriorating rapidly,” Stone said. “I think they all became deceased eventually, but there was no way to try and salvage them.”

The firefighters also discovered two large liquid oxygen tanks that appeared to be leaking, so a hazardous materials team was called as a precautionary measure to control the leak, Stone said, adding that there was no serious threat to the area.

Stone said that none of the people involved in the accident were seriously injured and that it took about three hours before authorities reopened the intersection.

He said it was unclear what caused the accident. The Irvine Police Department is investigating to determine whether it was caused by weather conditions or other reasons, he said.

This story was reported by Times Staff Writer Ari Bloomekatz.

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