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Authorities Probe Alleged Drug Lab Downtown

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(credit: Ed Andrieski/AP)

(credit: Ed Andrieski/AP)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities discovered a marijuana growing operation in downtown Los Angeles and briefly evacuated some residents and shut down freeway off-ramps when they initially believed the facility also included a dangerous methamphetamine lab.

Police and fire officials say they found the operation on Santa Fe Avenue near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 on Saturday afternoon, prompting the evacuations and spurring the California Highway Patrol to shut down off-ramps.

Fire officials say a hazardous materials team was been sent to the scene to assist the LAPD in a chemical investigation, but had no further details.

Police say when no methamphetamine or chemicals were found, the evacuations were called off and freeway ramps reopened.

A local television news station reported that several people were led away from the scene in handcuffs.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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