2 Injured as Big-Rig Crash Ignites 8,000 Gallons of Oil on 710 Freeway

A double tanker truck caught fire on the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway in Commerce Sunday morning, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close the freeway.


Flames from the crash could be seen from homes nearby (Credit: Raul Vargas)

The call came in at 9:37 a.m. that a big rig had gone over the side of the freeway and exploded into flames, according to the CHP.

The CHP initially said a second truck was also on fire. But witnesses told KTLA 5 it appeared that only one truck was involved.

The truck driver was burned and suffered critical injuries, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said in a news conference Sunday afternoon.

The truck driver managed to get out of the big rig before rescue crews arrived, the fire department said.

A second person, believed to be on a street below, suffered moderate injuries, officials said.

The freeway was closed in both directions between Washington Boulevard and Interstate 5 for about 90 minutes as firefighters battled the flames, according to the CHP.

The northbound direction reopened at about 11:00 a.m., the CHP said.

All southbound lanes were closed until further notice, according to the CHP.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.