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U.S. Suspends L.A. Shipments of Rocket Fuel

September 23, 1987

An immediate 60-day freeze on all Air Force shipments of military rocket fuel through Los Angeles was ordered today by the Department of Defense while officials seek alternate routes around the city, Mayor Tom Bradley announced.

Bradley told a morning news conference that his office had registered "strong objections" with the Defense Department over the shipments first disclosed Sunday in The Times.

The mayor said that Defense Department officials assured him that within 60 days it will determine new routes that would avoid heavily populated areas for the nitrogen tetroxide rocket fuel shipments to Vandenburg Air Force Base north of Santa Barbara.

"I am pleased that I can tell the people of Los Angeles that they will now have no fear that an accident would release this highly toxic fuel on our streets or freeways," Bradley said.

He said that city officials had not been aware of the shipments until the Times article appeared, but added that he did not demand an explanation from the Defense Department as to why it had not notified local officials.

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