published Thursday, May 15th, 2014

10,000 gallons of oil spill on Los Angeles streets

Crews sop up the remains of about 10,000 gallons of crude oil in the Atwater Village section of Los Angeles on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
Crews sop up the remains of about 10,000 gallons of crude oil in the Atwater Village section of Los Angeles on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LOS ANGELES — Crews sopped up the remains of about 10,000 gallons of crude oil that sprayed into Los Angeles streets and onto buildings early Thursday after a high-pressure pipe burst.

A geyser of crude spewed 20 feet high over approximately half a mile at about 12:15 a.m. and was knee-high in some parts of the industrial area of Atwater Village before the oil line was remotely shut off, said Fire Capt. Jaime Moore.

A handful of commercial businesses near the border of Glendale was affected, as well as a strip club that was evacuated.

Firefighters and hazardous materials crews responded. Several roads were closed.

Four people at a medical business were evaluated with respiratory complaints, and two people were transferred to a hospital, Moore said.

By dawn, an environmental cleaning company had vacuumed up most of the oil. Crews put down absorbent material to sop up the remaining crude and then used high-pressure hoses to wash the streets with a soap solution.

Officials previously said 50,000 gallons had spilled, but that number was revised downward after 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 some oil seeped under manhole covers.

The 20-inch pipe burst at a transfer pumping station along a pipeline that runs from Bakersfield to Texas, Moore said.

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