1 in Critical Condition After Fire Engines Crash in Monterey Park

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One person remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday night after two fire engines collided with each other, then one of them crashed into a business in Monterey Park, according to hospital officials.


Firefighters remained on scene after two fire engines crashed in Monterey Park on April 16, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The two fire engines collided at Emerson and Garfield avenues (map) at about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

Fifteen people were injured, including six firefighters, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear if the civilians injured were in the restaurant, walking or at a nearby bus stop.

The two trucks — one from the Monterey Park Fire Department and another with the Alhambra Fire Department — were driving with lights and sirens toward a structure fire in Monterey Park when they crashed into each other, according to Monterey Park fire Chief Jim Birrell.

The Monterey Park truck then crashed into Lu Dumpling House, where dramatic cellphone video was recorded, showing at least one injured person and a chaotic scene.

A witness described many people being treated near the restaurant, which is on the corner of a busy intersection in the San Gabriel Valley city.

“It’s such a small restaurant and half of the fire truck was inside,” witness Gema Barraza said.

Five of the firefighters and four civilians were admitted to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, according to Rosa Saca, a spokeswoman for the hospital. The five firefighters and two civilians were discharged as of Thursday evening, she said.

Two civilian patients remained hospitalized. One critical patient was upgraded to critical-but-stable condition. The second patient, a woman, was expected to be released Thursday night.

The other six injured were taken to Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park and were not critical, hospital spokesman Eric Jiang said. They were wheeled from the nearby scene on gurneys, authorities said.

“It’s a very unique situation and a tragic situation,” Birrell said Thursday. “We’ve met with all on-duty crews and we have reviewed our safety policies.”

The California Highway Patrol was investigating whether both fire engines were following protocol, he added.

The remaining firefighter — the driver of the Monterey Park Fire Department engine — was expected to be released later Thursday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported five firefighters were injured. A total of six firefighters were hurt. The story has been updated to reflect the change.

KTLA’s Melissa Pamer, Kacey Montoya and Kimberly Cheng contributed to this article.

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