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CHP Reopens 60 Freeway In Hacienda Heights After Big-Rig Fire

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HACIENDA HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — East and westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway in Hacienda Heights have been reopened after a truck that was hauling cylinders of liquid hydrogen caught on fire Thursday.

California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said no injuries have been reported as a result of the fire on the eastbound Pomona Freeway, first reported at 2:48 p.m. Thursday.

East and westbound lanes were subsequently closed between Hacienda Boulevard and Azusa Avenue. Eastbound lanes began slowly reopening at approximately 9 p.m., about an hour after westbound lanes were cleared for traffic.

The truck driver told authorities she heard a loud sound, noticed the fire and called 911.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Scott Miller confirmed the truck was hauling compressed hydrogen. Fire crews spent hours dousing the truck’s tanks from a distance.

CHP spokesman Jeremy Entolen told CBS2/KCAL9 the substance on the truck needed time to cool before traffic could move safely through.

“We just want to make sure there’s no potential explosion hazard,” he said. “We don’t release raw substance into the atmosphere.”

L.A. County Fire Inspector Tony Akins said the incident is something locals simply have to expect during busy commutes.

“There’s a lot materials moving all over Southern California. [There are] several manufacturing processes in place. This is just part of living here and the world we live in,” he said.

A spokesperson for the trucking company said it is working with authorities but could not release further information.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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