By Kate Mather, October 27, 2013
Both directions of the 710 Freeway in Commerce were closed Sunday morning after at least one big rig caught fire, the California Highway Patrol reported.
A SigAlert was issued for the incident, which was reported at the Washington Boulevard offramp about 9:30 a.m., according to a CHP online log.
There were conflicting reports about whether one or two semis were on fire. There were also reports that part of a big rig was hanging over the edge of the freeway.
CHP Officer Monica Posada said details about the crash were not immediately available, but the online log reported that Los Angeles County firefighters were on the scene and working to douse the flames.
The latest CHP update, issued at 10:40 a.m., indicated that the fire had been extinguished and that the freeway was expected to be closed for about four more hours for cleanup.
Tanker truck fire shuts down 710 Freeway in Commerce, severely burns driver
By Brian Day, October 27, 2013
A tanker trunk burst into flames on the 710 Freeway in Commerce, severely burning the driver and forcing the closure of all southbound lanes, authorities said.
The incident was first reported at 9:37 a.m. as a double-wide tanker trunk that had tipped onto its side and caught fire on the southbound 710 Freeway, at the Washington Boulevard overpass, according to California Highway Patrol logs. It was not initially clear if any other vehicles were involved in the crash.
The tanker fire quickly grew to massive proportions, prompting authorities to evacuate nearby homes as a precaution.
The badly burned truck driver was taken to a hospital with severe burns, CHP Officer Monica Posada said. His condition was unclear.
Caltrans officials were summoned to the scene to inspect the overpass to see if it had been compromised by the fire, Posada said.
The northbound lanes of the 710 Freeway near the crash scene was shut down for about an hour following the fire, Posada said. The southbound lanes were expected to remain closed well into the afternoon.
Officials were also working to clean up crude oil that spilled as a result of the fire, she added.
Officers from the East Los Angeles office of the CHP were handling the investigation.