Oil spray coats L.A. business district
LOS ANGELES — A geyser of oil sprayed onto buildings and puddled in knee-high pools of crude in Los Angeles streets when a valve on a high-pressure pipeline failed early Thursday.
About 10,000 gallons of oil spewed 20 feet high over half a mile of the industrial area of Atwater Village about 12:15 a.m., said fire Capt. Jaime Moore.
Four commercial businesses near the border of Glendale were affected, as well as a strip club that was evacuated because oil came through air vents. The parking lot was closed, and patrons and workers had to leave behind their crude-coated cars.
Crews were able to shut off the 20-inch line remotely after about 45 minutes.
“Inspectors went right to the failed valve. They knew right away where the problem originated,” Moore said. Determining exactly what caused the failure would take some time, he said.
Four people at a medical business a half-block away were evaluated with respiratory complaints, and two people were transferred to a hospital in stable condition, Moore said.
Quick-thinking workers used sand from a nearby concrete company to build a makeshift dike.
“They created a pool and were able to hem in much of the oil,” Moore said.
By dawn, an environmental cleaning company had vacuumed up most of the mess. Crews put down absorbent material to sop up the remaining crude and used high-pressure hoses to wash the streets with a soap solution.
Firefighters and hazardous materials crews responded, along with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. Several roads were shut down and were expected to remain closed for much of the day.
Officials initially said 50,000 gallons spilled, but that number was revised downward once the vacuuming began.
Fire department spokesman Erik Scott said there was no “visible evidence” that the oil entered storm drains, which empty into the Los Angeles River. But he said it's possible that oil seeped under manhole covers.
The valve failed at a transfer pumping station along a pipeline that runs from Bakersfield to Texas, Moore said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign policy expert: Obama administration should create Syria safe areas
- Video of white Chicago patrolman fatally firing on fleeing black youth sparks demonstrations
- Self-driving vehicles closer to getting green light as feds ease stance
- Email address gives FBI lead on record theft of user IDs, passwords
- Poll: 4 in 10 know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers
- In a first, private company’s rocket returns safely to Earth
- Traffic deaths rise sharply in United States
- GOP readies next assault on health care law
- Newborn left in manger in N.Y. church, police say
- 3 arrested in shooting of Minneapolis protesters
- House Republicans call for refugee limits in spending bill