Crew works to cap methane leak in Hawthorne; Imperial Highway reopened

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Update 12:50 p.m.: Leak stopped but well not yet capped

The methane leak that closed down a portion of the Imperial Highway in Hawthorne and forced the evacuation of 37 families has been stopped, L.A. County Fire officials said.

Crews were able to plug the flow of methane and water, but haven't yet capped the well it was issuing from, L.A. County Fire spokesman Brian Jordan said. 

"The water flow has stopped. The water leak and methane leak have stopped," he said, "but it is not capped." 

RELATEDCrews still trying to stop methane leak in Hawthorne; 37 homes evacuated

Evacuated families will be allowed back in their homes soon, he added, but not until the work has been completed.

"The people will be allowed back in their homes first thing once we feel the area's safe again and we know we won't have anymore leaks," said Jordan. 

Bianca Ramirez, KPCC

Update 11:58 a.m.: Crew works to cap methane leak in Hawthorne

Authorities have reopened a section of a Southern California freeway that was shut down during an attempt to cap a nearby well that was spewing methane gas and water.

Interstate 105 was shut down in the Hawthorne area east of Los Angeles International Airport late Monday morning and reopened before noon. — AP

Los Angeles County fire Capt. Brian Jordan says the flow of water and methane has stopped but crews continue to pump mud into the well.

The problem began Thursday, when there was an unexpected outflow from the well, which had been out of service for years.

Thirty-seven families have been displaced from their homes. Golden State Water Co. says it is putting them up in hotels.

Golden State hired the well-known company Boots & Coots to cap the well.


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