Approximately 10,000 gallons of oil covered the Los Angeles streets in West Glendale following a pipe burst. According to the city’s fire department, the crude oil coated a half-mile area. Fire department spokesman, James Moore, stated that in some areas the oil was knee deep. A selection of businesses, including a nightclub, were affected. The leak was reported after midnight, and authorities promptly shut off the pipeline and contained the spill.
A hazmat team was later sent to examine the spill site. Initial estimates from the fire department report 1 million gallons lost, the estimate was then adjusted to 10,000 gallons. Firefighters sought the help of a neighboring cement company to curb the spill. By using large deposits of sand, the cement company created dams to trap the oil. Once most of the oil was trapped, tanker trucks sucked the oil puddles up. By morning, an environmental cleaning company had dredged up most of the oil via vacuum. The environmental cleaning association placed absorbent material to soak up the remaining crude substance and then utilized high-pressure water hoses to cleanse the streets with a disinfecting solution. Another representative from the fire department -Erik Scott- said there was “no visible evidence” that any of the oil had found its way into storm drains, which discharge into the Los Angeles River, but there is a possibility that some crude oil permeated into manhole covers.
The pipe burst, which covered Los Angeles’s West Glendale streets in 10,000 gallons of oil, caused a strip club to be evacuated and two citizens to be hospitalized. According to eyewitness accounts, the blowout shot a geyser of oil 15 to 20 feet into the sky and rained down onto the adjacent business, The Gentleman’s Club, clouding the windows with a black coating of oil; subsequently leading to the evacuation of the establishment. Aerial video revealed pools of crude oil stretching over several blocks and coating the roof of the adult entertainment club. Battalion Chief David Spence stated that the oil originated from the Bakersfield area, and that the West Glendale pipe is part of a transfer system designed to pump oil into a storage facility in Long Beach. Following the shut-down of the pipe, it still continued to gush oil for 45 minutes. The spill occurred in an industrial area, four workers at the Baxter Industrial Plant were assessed for respiratory illness and two were taken to the hospital.
Despite the spillage of the 10,000 gallons of oil onto the Los Angeles streets, authorities stated that no oil found its way into any buildings. Several streets surrounding the area have been closed as police and clean up crews continue to clean the effected region. Neither the fire department, police authorities, nor news affiliates have revealed which company the pipeline belongs to. However, a U.S. Department of Energy map showed that the pipeline running through West Glendale’s Atwater Village is the Plains West Coast Pipeline, belonging to Plains Pipelin L.P., a subdivision of Plains All America. The company has not yet issued any statement regarding the spill.
By Andres Loubriel