Half a square mile of Glendale, Calif., in Los Angeles County is knee-deep in crude oil after an estimated 10,000 gallons of crude oil escaped from a ruptured above-ground pipeline in the early morning hours on Friday.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said that it had crews in the area “hand vacuuming” the spilled oil, “mopping what’s left behind, and pressure washing the area with a sap solution,” according to Reuters.
The leak was first reported about 12:15 a.m. Pacific time in the 5100 block of San Fernando Road and shot up to 50 feet in the air, according to witnesses. Most of that oil poured down on a nearby strip bar called the Gentlemen’s Club, where four people were evacuated complaining of respiratory distress. No other injuries have been reported.
A number of other businesses were affected by the oil, which pooled knee-deep in parts of the immediate area. Several vehicles in the vicinity of the spill were also damaged. The Los Angeles Fire Department said the pipe was cut off remotely. Cleanup efforts are ongoing. Officials said that most of the cleanup work should be completed within 24 hours.
Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding issued a statement saying that people in the general area of the spill could experience “mild, temporary health impacts,” such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
“Cleanup of this spill is progressing, but individuals may experience discomfort from odors from the residual crude,” Dr. Fielding said, adding that the symptoms should be short-lived and not lead to long-term complications.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District is monitoring the air quality in Glendale. Results as of Friday afternoon indicated a low risk to the general public.
It wasn’t immediately clear what other disruptions the spill would create. LA Battalion Chief David Spence told local television stations that the oil pipe ran from the state’s main oil-producing region near Bakersfied to storage facilities in Long Beach. It was not immediately clear if the spill would have an impact on any of the Long Beach refineries.