2 Hospitalized After 9,000-Gallon Tanker Leaks Gasoline, Catches Fire in South L.A.: LAFD

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A leaking 9,000-gallon tanker triggered an explosion in South Los Angeles that injured two people, displaced 30 people and sent up heavy plumes of smoke visible from miles away on Sunday morning, officials said. Crews responded to 216 W. Slauson Ave. in the Florence neighborhood after a 911 caller reported smelling natural gas at 7:45 a.m., according to the L.A. Fire Department. As firefighters surveyed the caller’s home, they heard an explosion next door. Crews then discovered a large tanker that had been leaking gasoline. Fumes went into a storm drain and ignited, sending at least one manhole cover into the air, fire Capt. Cory Weireter said. The flames damaged a two-story home during the blast, according to the Fire Department. Family members said the two victims, a mother and her teen daughter, were burned from flames that came out of the manhole covers. One of the victims was seriously hurt while the other sustained minor injuries, the Fire Department said. A total of 10 adults and three children had to leave their homes after the explosion, the agency later said. It took 72 firefighters nearly two hours to extinguish the blaze, the agency added. Officials shut down Slauson Avenue between Broadway and Main Street as personnel investigated the scene. About 30 residents of the neighborhood were forced to evacuate due to the fire, officials said.

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