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Toxic Risk Shuts Mall, Freeway

July 18, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

A mall was evacuated and freeways became jammed with cars Wednesday after a trailer carrying combustible and toxic materials overturned in the City of Industry.

About 11 a.m., a truck pulling two trailers containing liquid peroxide, oil-based paints and acetone was on the Azusa Boulevard onramp to the Pomona Freeway when its second trailer overturned.

Because the cargo was flammable and could emit toxic fumes, county hazardous material crews were summoned, and the Puente Hills Mall was evacuated, as were about five miles of the freeway in both directions.

The northbound 605 Freeway connection also was closed.

"The traffic was hellacious, an absolute nightmare," Fire Inspector Ed Osorio said.

The peroxide, in particular, posed a fire danger, he said.

But only a few small containers opened, and the mall was reopened by early afternoon, the freeway by about 3:20 p.m.

No one was injured.

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