A pipe carrying oil ruptured in Atwater Village today, spilling more than 50,000 gallons of crude onto streets, the Los Angeles Fire Dept. reported.
The spill spread over a half-mile area, affecting “a handful” of businesses,” and the oil was “knee high” in some places, said fire department spokesman Erik Scott.
The leak from a 20-inch pipe within the facility was reported around 12:15 a.m. and prompted notifications to two state agencies – the Governor’s office of Emergency Services and the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, which includes an Office of Spill Prevention and Response, said Los Angeles Fire Dept. Capt. Roger Fowble.
The above-ground pipe is located in an industrial area next to a strip club in the 5100 block of West San Fernando Road called The Gentleman’s Club, where around 10 patrons and some staff members were evacuated as a result of the spill, a news videographer reported from the scene.
The patrons’ cars were “impacted” by the spill, Fowble said.
The rupture turned the pipe into a geyser, with crude flying 30 feet into the air, some landing on the roof of the strip club, according to reports from the scene.
About 35 firefighters were initially sent to the scene and worked to contain the spill, Fowble said, adding that a fire department tractor company and a HazMat unit were also dispatched. The flow in the damaged pipeline was shut down remotely, he said.
LAFD officials said they did not immediately determine who maintains the pipeline.