Crude Oil Spill Dumps 50,000 Gallons on Los Angeles Streets

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) reports that an above ground oil pipe ruptured early this morning, spilling about 50,000 gallons of flammable and toxic crude oil over a half mile area. 

The 20-inch above ground oil pipe break was reported around 2:00 am to the LAFD, who arrived on the scene in efforts to maintain the “almost knee high” oil leak in Glendale and Atwater Village area of Los Angeles, California.

The fire department issued a crude oil spill warning early Thursday morning, ordering the oil line to be remotely shut off, as teams rushed to prevent the oil from entering into the city’s storm drains that run off into the Los Angeles River.

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Los Angeles spokesman Erik Scott indicates that there is evidence the oil spill has seeped under nearby manhole covers in the immediate area, but officials have not determined how much.

LA officials state that LAFD teams and hazardous material teams are using sand piles to quarantine and prevent the spread of the oil from running down the street and affecting local commercial businesses.

Officials have not released the name of the company who owns or manages the busted pipeline, but have guaranteed that an investigation will seek routine maintenance records.

So far, only one local business has reported being affected by the spill, although as the early morning work hours and traffic begin, more businesses are likely to report being impacted.

Oil spills can be extremely hazardous because crude oil is composed of hydrocarbons, which are chemicals composed of hydrogen and carbon, as well as hundreds of other harmful substances such as benzene, chromium, iron, mercury, nickel, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, toluene, and xylene.

Exposure to crude oil spills may cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory system as well as causing dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, confusion, and anemia. Prolonged skin contact with crude oil may cause skin reddening, edema, burning of the skin, shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

Crude oil is refined to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, residential fuel oil, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gases such as propane, and other sources of energy.

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