A fuel tanker crashed near Dodger Stadium and spilled fuel into the LA River, raising concerns were raised Saturday about an extreme public hazard at storm drains and manhole covers due to potentially explosive runoff. Tena Ezzeddine reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
Concerns were raised Saturday about an "extreme public hazard" at storm drains and manhole covers due to "potentially explosive runoff" after a big rig caught fire on a stretch of the Glendale (2) Freeway north of Dodger Stadium, fire officials said.
The incident caused by a tanker truck with 8,500 gallons of fuel was reported at 10:30 a.m. The California Highway Patrol announced that the southbound 2 Freeway was closed at Interstate 5, with all southbound 2 traffic being diverted to the northbound 5.
The closures were "long-term," the agency said.
The driver escaped unharmed, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman with the Los Angeles Fire Department. No injuries were reported.
Plumes of smoke could be seen from nearby streets.
Humphrey said the entire 7,500 gallons of gas burned or spilled into storm drains and the nearby LA River, Humphrey said.
The LAFD was working with local, state and federal environmental officials to assess the extent of the damage.
Several ramps were shut down while firefighters doused the flames and authorities began investigating the cause of the crash which happened when the big rig hit a guard rail.
Officials advised residents in the surrounding communities – Atwater Village, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Elysian Valley, and Echo Park – that there were vapor smells in the area. They also advised those planning to attend Saturday's Dodgers game against the Rockies to allow extra time and avoid the 2, 5 and 110 freeways east of Dodgers Stadium.
"We are warning people in the area to avoid storm drains and manhole covers," the Los Angeles police said in a community alert.
The bike path along the LA River south of Fletcher was temporarily closed .
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