10,000 gallons of oil spilled onto the streets of Los Angeles last night when a pipe burst at a transfer station in Atwater Village near Glendale. Fire crews worked to contain the spill overnight and an environmental cleaning crew is mopping up the remains this morning. A small number of businesses in the area were affected by the spill, and four people were evaluated for respiratory conditions with two taken to hospital for further observation.
The spill was first reported at about 12:15 a.m. when a 20-inch pipe burst, spewing oil over a half-mile radius before the pipeline was remotely shut off. The initial geyser of crude was reported as 20-feet high and in some areas the spilled oil pooled up to knee deep. Initial reports stated one million gallons had been spilled, but this was soon downgraded to 50,000 gallons and is now estimated at 10,000 gallons after cleanup operations.
The spill occurred in a high-pressure pipeline that runs between Bakersfield and Texas. Fire officials state that there is no evidence that oil escaped into storm water drains, though they concede it may have seeped under manhole covers. Nearby areas have been evacuated during the cleanup, with the area expected to be cordoned off for up to 24 hours. With pipelines touted as the safer alternative to railways, this raises further questions about public safety and the transport of oil in North America.
Photos via 350Colorado