9 Los Angeles firefighters injured after burning truck’s fuel tank explodes

Feb 15, 2024, 9:02 AM | Updated: Feb 16, 2024, 4:18 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A truck’s fuel tank exploded early Thursday in a neighborhood south of downtown Los Angeles, sending a fireball into the air and injuring nine of the 10 firefighters responding to the blaze, including two critically, fire officials said.

All nine Los Angeles firefighters were rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and were stabilized, and one of the critical patients had to be intubated and airlifted to a burn unit at Los Angeles General Medical Center, said Dr. Molly Deane, a trauma surgeon.

Of the others who were injured, four suffered moderate injuries and three had minor injuries, Deane said.

“Frankly, it’s remarkable that none of them are more severely injured after watching the footage,” Deane said. “Most people should do fairly well.”

The driver of the truck escaped injury after noticing something was awry with the big rig’s tractor and stepped away to call 911, officials said.

The tractor was fueled by compressed natural gas carried in two 100-gallon (378-liter) tanks, one of which exploded six minutes after firefighters arrived on the scene in Wilmington. The neighborhood is 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of downtown, near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Deane spoke outside the medical center at a news conference with the fire chief and Mayor Karen Bass, who said it was “a difficult day in Los Angeles.”

TV news helicopter video showed charred and mangled parts of the truck with a small flame still burning along with discarded firefighting gear where the injured crew members were initially treated.

“The ball of flame was as high as these telephone poles, and it actually did explode one of the transformers nearby,” fire Capt. Erik Scott said, adding that the second fuel tank was “still off-gassing, and therefore there’s a minor threat.”

The blast occurred adjacent to an industrial area separated from a neighborhood by a wide street and a rail line. No homes were in danger, Scott said, though a large perimeter was set up after the explosion, and some 160 firefighters responded.

“Today is a day, I think, where all of us can take a moment to recognize how intrinsically dangerous firefighting can be,” said fire Chief Kristin Crowley.

She said her department would review their response.

“This team is highly trained, and it will look at every single aspect of this incident and gather the opportunities for improvement and lessons learned,” she said.

United States News

This image provided by Naval History and Heritage Command, shows African American Sailors of a nava...

Associated Press

Navy exonerates 256 Black sailors unjustly punished in 1944 after a deadly California port explosion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy has exonerated 256 Black sailors who were found to be unjustly punished in 1944 following a horrific port explosion that killed hundreds of service members and exposed racist double standards among the then-segregated ranks. On July 17, 1944, munitions being loaded onto a cargo ship detonated, causing secondary blasts […]

48 minutes ago

Associated Press

Sheriff’s deputies fatally shoot 2 people while serving a warrant in Georgia

ALTO, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies who were serving a warrant in another county shot and killed two people in northeast Georgia on Tuesday. The Forysth County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were serving an arrest warrant on a sex offender for violating the conditions of his probation in the Banks County town of Alto. The […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A meteor streaked across the NYC skyline before disintegrating over New Jersey

NEW YORK (AP) — A meteor streaked across the New York City skyline before disintegrating over nearby New Jersey, according to NASA. William Cooke, the head of the space agency’s Meteoroid Environments Office, said the fireball was first sighted at an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) above Manhattan at around 11:17 a.m. Tuesday. The […]

2 hours ago

A fire burns at the Warren Grove Air To Ground Range, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. in Bass River Townshi...

Associated Press

Forest fire at New Jersey military base 80% contained after overnight rain

BASS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Heavy rain overnight helped firefighters gain more control over a forest fire burning at a military bombing range in southern New Jersey. Fire officials said Wednesday that half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain fell overnight at the Warren Grove Air to Ground Range, a training facility for the New […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro speaks to the media as he leaves federal cour...

Associated Press

Ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro is released from prison and is headed to Milwaukee to address the RNC

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro was released from prison on Wednesday after completing his sentence for a contempt of Congress conviction and is expected to speak hours later at the Republican National Convention. Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump, was freed from custody […]

2 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

9 Los Angeles firefighters injured after burning truck’s fuel tank explodes