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Oil Tanker Truck Explosion Shuts Down Southern CA Freeway

A tanker crashed, exploding into flames, prompting the shut down of a freeway and evacuating homes.

A double tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of crude oil crashed on Sunday, exploding into flames that swept through a neighborhood, left the driver with life-threatening injuries and shut a Southern California freeway.

Authorities said the cab and first tank of the truck flew over the edge of the freeway and dangled above a railroad yard. Both erupted into flames and then crashed into the ground with the driver still inside. The second tank on the freeway also burst into flames.

The truck driver managed to escape, but was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said. A second person was taken to a hospital with less severe injuries.

Walls of flames burning in gutters and streets of a neighborhood in Commerce prompted the evacuations of homes close to where the crash closed the Long Beach (710) Freeway at Washington Boulevard

Several vehicles burned, but no homes or businesses caught fire.

Authorities say that if all goes well, they hope to have the freeway reopened in time for Monday morning rush hour traffic.

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