Breaks, Spills Crude Oil Into Los Angeles Neighborhood
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[May 16, 2014]
By Steve Gorman and Selam Gebrekidan
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A faulty
valve at a petroleum pipeline pump station ruptured early on Thursday in
an industrial corner of Los Angeles, spewing crude oil 40 feet into the
air, onto the roof of a strip club next door, and leaving four people
sick from the fumes.
An estimated 10,000 gallons of oil gushed from the pipeline before
it was shut down and the spill was halted, soaking an area about a
half-block long, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Jaime Moore
The company that runs the pipeline, Plains All American Pipeline LP,
a unit of Plains Pipeline LP, put the volume of the spill at "less
than 450 barrels (18,900 gallons)" based on current field
Firefighters prevented oil from running into storm drains or manhole
covers by hastily building a 2 1/2-foot-tall dike of sand fetched
from a nearby cement shop, Moore said.
Four people from a medical supply building were made sick by fumes
and two were taken to a hospital, fire department officials said.
Plains said the smell "may cause a nauseous feeling, but it poses no
danger to responders or neighbors."
Oil spilled for 45 minutes after the pipeline was shut because of
gravity and residual pressure in the line, Moore said. The pipeline
runs from the San Joaquin Valley in central California to a storage
facility in Long Beach.
Moore said there was no sign that oil had seeped into the water
table or into the Los Angeles River, which runs adjacent to the
Atwater Village district where the pump station is located.
MOPPING UP WITH DIAPERS
Plains said later Thursday that the crude leaked from its 130-mile,
110,000 barrel-per-day Line 2000 pipeline. The company was not sure
how long the line would be shut.
"We are on hand vacuuming up the spilled oil, mopping up what's left
behind and pressure washing the area with a soap solution," Moore
said. "The responders are mopping what's on the ground with
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Moore said the 10 patrons and an unknown number of employees at the
adult entertainment venue were not harmed despite oil cascading over
walls, the roof and into the ventilation system.
Line 2000 runs parallel to Plains' Line 63. Shares of Plains All
American closed down 0.28 percent at $56.77.
The pipeline shutdown had not affected cash product prices on
Thursday morning, as cash gasoline and diesel prices in the Los
Angeles and San Francisco markets were lower than on Wednesday,
Company spokesman Fred Muir said he did not know how long it would
take to repair the damage. The cleanup was expected to take 24
The Long Beach terminal serves refineries in the area, including
those run by Phillips 66, Valero Energy Corp and Tesoro Corp.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Selam Gebrekidan in
New York; Additional reporting by Kristen Hays in Houston, Arpan
Varghese in Bangalore and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by
Lisa Von Ahn, Jessica Resnick-Ault, Jan Paschal and Ken Wills)
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