(CNS) A key section of the Long Beach (710) Freeway was closed for about 75 minutes during the morning rush hour, when power lines were brought down onto all 10 lanes of the freeway.
A small landscaping fire, freeway closures and local power outrage ensued in the aftermath of an apparent mistake on the freeway, CHP officers said.
A metal rod on top of a trash truck that was traveling on the southbound 710 snagged power lines crossing the freeway, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Monica Posada.
"The metal rod on top of the trash truck caught those wires and brought them down,'' Posada said. "At that point, the wires were hot.'' The 7:14 a.m. mishap was just south of the 710's junction with the Santa Ana (5) Freeway, CHP officers at the scene said. The cables fell, ensnaring at least one large truck and several vehicles on the freeway.
The 710 was closed to southbound traffic at the 5, and northbound traffic was shunted onto the westbound Anderson (105) Freeway for an hour. Cars were observed driving the wrong way on the freeway to exit down on-ramps.
As the lines fell, landscaping caught fire in a residential neighborhood just west of the 710 and north of Washington Boulevard. About 14 firefighters put that out quickly, said Melanie Flores, a supervising fire dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Crews from Southern California Edison were called to the scene, Posada said.
Power poles in the neighborhood were extensively damaged, and Edison crews said power was restored to the sourrounding area at about 8:51 a.m. No injuries were reported.