MONTEREY PARK (CBSLA.com) — Fifteen people were injured, one critically, when a fire engine crashed into a Monterey Park restaurant Wednesday afternoon.
A CHP spokesperson told KCAL9 fire engines from Monterey Park and Alhambra were responding to the same structure fire at approximately 3 p.m., when the two collided at the intersection of Emerson and Garfield avenues, sending the Monterey Park engine crashing into Lu Dumpling House.
Six firefighters and eight civilians suffered minor to moderate injuries. One civilian was hospitalized in critical condition.
Restaurant owner Vivian Lu said witnesses told her a man standing in line outside was hit by the truck, pushed in the restaurant and became trapped underneath the wreckage.
Lu also said one employee was injured.
“I didn’t go inside to see it because I’m scared,” she said. “I don’t believe [it] and I’m sad for the people who got hurt.”
CHP is investigating the cause of the crash.
Monterey Park Fire Department Chief Jim Birrell said the fire engines were responding to two different dispatchers while en route to a house fire in the 800 block of East Graves Avenue.
“Both apparatus were traveling Code 3. It is typical of apparatus responding Code 3 to slow at an intersection and proceed when it’s safe,” Birell said.
L.A. County Fire was assisting in the clean-up Wednesday night, helping to tow the 40,000-pound engine from the site. The effort was successful, but left a gaping hole in the restaurant.
SKY9’s Stu Mundel reports Garfield Avenue was expected to remain closed from the 10 Freeway south to Garvey Avenue until at least midnight Thursday.