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Southbound Side of 710 Freeway Remains Closed After Fiery Crash in Bell

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The northbound side of the 710 Freeway in Bell reopened Sunday night after a fiery crash involving a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline closed both sides of the roadway and sent plumes of dark smoke into the air that was visible from miles away.

A fire was reported on the southbound 710 Freeway near Florence Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said around 3:45 p.m.

The truck was carrying about 8,500 gallons of gasoline, the department tweeted. Flames were extinguished by 4:54 p.m. but the roadway remained closed.

No injuries were reported, and more than 50 firefighters were deployed to battle the blaze, supervising dispatcher with the fire department Cheryl Sims told the Los Angeles Times.

It was unclear what caused the crash, but about a quarter mile after entering the freeway officials said the truck driver heard a loud pop.

“He started slowing down and pulled to the right shoulder, but by that time the rear trailer had already overturned and was dragging,” California Highway Patrol Officer Juan Galvan said.

Firefighters had to run a water line across the northbound side of the roadway because there was not a water source on the southbound side, forcing a full closure of the freeway, officials said.

Motorists were trapped on the freeway for nearly an hour, but around 4:30 p.m. southbound traffic was diverted onto Bandini Boulevard and northbound drivers were led off Florence Avenue, the CHP tweeted.

The northbound side of the freeway was reopened after about six hours, CHP tweeted. It was unknown how long the southbound side would remain closed.

Photos showed the tanker truck had overturned, and no other vehicles appeared to be involved in the crash.

Plumes of dark smoke billowed into the air as dozens of parked vehicles appeared to be stuck on the roadway, images on social media showed.

KTLA viewers reported seeing the smoke from as far away as Silver Lake.

A fire broke out on the 710 Freeway near Florence Avenue on April 26, 2015. (Credit: Steve Kuzj/KTLA)

A fire broke out on the 710 Freeway near Florence Avenue on April 26, 2015. (Credit: Steve Kuzj/KTLA)

Dark plumes of smoke could be seen coming from a fire on the 710 Freeway in Bell on April 26, 2016. (Credit: Christina Fawaz/KTLA)

Dark plumes of smoke could be seen coming from a fire on the 710 Freeway in Bell on April 26, 2016. (Credit: Christina Fawaz/KTLA)