HAWTHORNE, Calif. - UPDATE: 8/24/2018 11:37 a.m. CBS LA- Two people were killed in a collision involving a gasoline-filled tanker truck on the 105 Freeway in Hawthorne Friday morning, sparking a massive blaze which burned for more than 90 minutes and backed up traffic for miles.
The crash involving a two-tanker truck and an SUV occurred at 5:13 a.m. on the westbound 105 Freeway at Prairie Boulevard. The front tanker hit the divider wall and overturned, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said. Within moments, the front tanker exploded into a fireball. The rear tanker did not spill gasoline or catch fire, CHP said.
The drivers of both the big-rig and the SUV died in the crash, CHP confirmed. No names were released.
It took Los Angeles County firefighters more than 90 minutes to douse the flames.
A witness told CBS2 that just prior to the crash, the SUV was swerving in and out of traffic when it also crashed into a center divider, which then caused the tanker-truck to crash as well. However, those details were not confirmed by authorities.
A Sig Alert was issued and both sides of the freeway were shut down for several hours. The eastbound lanes were reopened a little after 8 a.m., but the westbound lanes remained closed. Morning commuters were advised to use Imperial Highway or the 91 Freeway as detours.
Metro Green Line train service was suspended between the Hawthorne/Lennox and Vermont/Athens stations. Replacement buses were shuttling those passengers.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
A fuel tanker is burning on a freeway in south Los Angeles County, snarling the morning commute.
The vehicle crashed and began burning around 5 a.m. Friday on the westbound side of Interstate 105 in suburban Hawthorne.
The fire has entirely shut down the freeway, which is a major route to nearby Los Angeles International Airport.
The Metro Green Line light rail route running down the center of the freeway is also shut down.
There are no immediate details on how the crash occurred.