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Oil derrick buckles in Huntington Beach, residents evacuated

Workers were doing routine maintenance on the well when it began to collapse, authorities say. Nearby residents were told to leave and power was shut off.

October 14, 2013|By Paloma Esquivel
  • A buckled oil derrick in Huntington Beach tilts toward power lines. Some residents in the area have been evacuated.
A buckled oil derrick in Huntington Beach tilts toward power lines. Some… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Several downtown Huntington Beach residents were evacuated Monday when an oil derrick atop a well that was undergoing maintenance started to buckle, authorities said.

Huntington Beach firefighters were called to the intersection of Walnut Avenue and 2nd Street about 1:30 p.m., said Bob Culhane of the city's Fire Department.

Emergency crews were told that workers doing routine maintenance on the well had brought in a temporary derrick and were pulling rods when they noticed that the derrick had started to buckle on one side.

A crane is on site to help stabilize the derrick, and firefighters are preparing to dismantle it and bring it down, Culhane said.

In the meantime, firefighters have evacuated a two-story home next to the well and a 10-unit apartment building that could be in the path of flying debris if the derrick collapses.

Only a small number of residents were home at the time, Culhane said. Electricity was also shut off in the area because of power lines near the derrick.

"We need to get it stabilized, we need to get it down so that we can figure out what happened," Culhane said.

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