Southbound 710 Freeway Reopens After Tanker Truck Fire

BELL (CNS/FOX 11) - Crews continued their efforts Monday to repair damage caused when a tanker truck loaded with gasoline tipped onto its side and burst into flames on the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway in Bell.

The tanker, which fire officials said was hauling 8,500 gallons of gasoline, overturned about 3:25 p.m. Sunday on the southbound freeway near Florence Avenue and caught fire, sending a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles.

The rig's driver was freed by firefighters, and no injuries were reported, county fire dispatcher Cheryl Sims said.

The inferno heavily damaged the roadway surface, leaving the entire southbound freeway closed overnight and through the morning. Late this morning, authorities closed the transition road from the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway to the southbound 710 Freeway to limit traffic from entering the affected area.

California Highway Patrol officials said they hope to reopen at least one lane of the southbound 710 Freeway by about about noon.

Sunday's blaze, which grew into a second-alarm fire, was knocked down at 4:15 p.m., Sims said. No other vehicles were involved, she said.

The crash and fire shut down all freeway lanes in both directions between Bandini Boulevard to the north and Florence Avenue to the south, backing up traffic for miles.

The north side of the freeway was reopened just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday, but the southbound side remained closed, CHP Officer Peter Bishop said.