Leaking gasoline tanker explodes, two sent to hospital

Firefighters douse a fire, which sent up a huge plume of smoke in Los Angeles Sunday, March 17, 2019. Authorities say a 9,000-gallon (34,000-liter) tanker leaking gasoline caught fire and caused an explosion that injured two people in South Los Angeles. The fire department says the blast Sunday morning reverberated through storm drains and sent manhole covers into the air.
Caption
Firefighters douse a fire, which sent up a huge plume of smoke in Los Angeles Sunday, March 17, 2019. Authorities say a 9,000-gallon (34,000-liter) tanker leaking gasoline caught fire and caused an explosion that injured two people in South Los Angeles. The fire department says the blast Sunday morning reverberated through storm drains and sent manhole covers into the air.

Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

A 9,000-gallon tanker sprung a leak and exploded in a Los Angeles neighborhood, forcing more than 30 people from their homes and sending two people to the hospital.

Firefighters were on scene before the blast after a neighbor called saying they smelled natural gas Sunday morning, KTLA reported.

As they investigated, they heard an explosion next door.

Gas fumes from the leaking tanker went into a storm drain and ignited, blowing manhole covers into the air.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the explosion broke one in half.

It was so powerful that the tanker truck had one end of it blown open, according to the newspaper.

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One home was damaged by flames caused by the explosion.  A mother and her teenage daughter were injured in the blast, KTLA reported.

One had burns to 30 percent of her body, the other was cut by glass broken by the explosion, the LA Times reported.

Officials said the tanker truck was located on land that had been used as a recycling center in the past, but the property's owner was using it as storage. The tanker had been there for less than a month, according to the LA Times.

Seventy-two firefighters took two hours to put out the flames and a hazardous materials unit was called in, KTLA and CNN reported.

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