Thick, black smoke poured out of a tanker truck that caught fire today on the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway in Montebello.
The vehicle's driver and a passenger escaped safely, CHP Officer Vince Ramirez said and NBC L.A. reported.
Fire and traffic officials say thousands of motorists are stuck on a 10-mile stretch of freeway since officers have closed the 60. Environmental officials are also working to contain toxic runoff from the fire that closed the freeway in both directions.
Montebello Fire Chief Tim Wessel says the main concern is runoff, so California Department of Fish and Game officials and flood control crews are working to contain the gasoline and contaminated foam and water used to fight the blaze.
The fire was so powerful a freeway sign was melted off, KFI reports.
"It did cause some damage to the over-crossing itself," California Highway Patrol officer Luis Mendoza confirmed Tuesday afternoon. "At this point, we are just relying on the local fire department to put out the fire, which is still having some flare ups."
Mendoza also confirmed that all traffic has been shut down between Interstates 710 and 605, and that cars have been diverted down on-ramps to clear the lanes. He says that no vehicles are currently stuck behind the tanker.
CHP "still has no idea" when the lanes will re-open.