Firefighters cool down truck carrying hydrogen
Firefighters cool down truck carrying hydrogen to prevent an explosion. Courtesy Los Angeles County Fire Department

Los Angeles County firefighters Monday finished letting compressed hydrogen out of tanks in a truck that caught fire, then lifted evacuation orders in an area of a half-mile radius in suburban Diamond Bar, authorities said.

The evacuations were lifted at 3:30 a.m. Monday morning when the area was deemed safe, Sgt. D. Luter of the Sheriff’s Walnut Station told CNS. Deputies were still blocking a radius of 200 feet around the truck until it could be towed away.

The fire broke out on the truck at about 1:20 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of South Brea Canyon Road and Golden Springs Drive, according to a county fire department dispatcher. That was just south of the Pomona (60) Freeway and west of the Orange (57) Freeway, but traffic on that freeway was not impeded.

[symple_googlemap title=”Diamond Bar explosion” location=”South Brea Canyon Road and Golden Springs Drive, Diamond Bar, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

The CHP reported witnesses heard a small explosion.

Firefighters managed to put out the truck fire shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, the fire department said. Aerial TV footage showed the tanks were being cooled by water jets from two fire trucks.

The truck’s trailer was carrying about 25 cylinders and seven or eight were compromised, according to the fire department. Only one tank was still leaking as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday, the fire department said.

About two hours after the fire started, sheriff’s deputies began a evacuating residents within a half mile of the site, Deputy Kimberly Alexander said.

The California Highway Patrol shut down the onramps and offramps on the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway at Brea Canyon Road, CHP Officer Stephan Brandt said. They were reopened about 5 a.m. Monday.

—City News Service

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