Gasoline Tanker Burns on California Freeway

GLENDALE, Calif. -- All closures on 5 and 134 freeways have been re-opened after a gas tanker burst into flames and exploded there late Saturday night.

Caltrans officials said they plan completely re-open the 134 Freeway about 10:15 p.m. Sunday. The eastbound side of the 134 was re-opened Sunday morning after a gasoline tanker burst into flames.

The fire broke out about 11 p.m. at the freeway interchange with the 5 Freeway.

The tanker was traveling on the westbound side of the freeway when a Honda Accord slammed into one of it's trailers, causing both vehicles to lose control. The tanker hit a guardrail, causing it to erupt into flames just underneath the 134 and 5 freeway transition.

Officials said it was carrying as much as 8,600 gallons of fuel at the time of the crash.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze within 90 minutes. Some of the fuel did spill on the freeway and is believed to have made its way into the L.A. River below.

No injuries were reported.

CHP officials said Sunday morning that the 25-year-old driver of the Honda, Hakop Maghakyan, may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. He was booked on a DUI charge and has been released on $5,000 bail, according to Glendale Police.

CHP says it will begin reopening lanes on the wesbound side starting at 6 p.m. Sunday. Transition roads connecting the 134 and 5 freeways have also been closed.

Until then, officials say a good alternative route is taking the westbound 134 Freeway to the southbound 2, which connects to the 5 freeway.

The 5 Freeway in East Los Angeles was shutdown on Friday after an armored truck crash landed on the edge of a freeway bridge.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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