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Massive Los Angeles crash kills one, snarls freeways

Two big rigs and several cars collided on a major freeway north of downtown Los Angeles on April 25, sparking an explosion and fire, killing at least one person and forcing authorities to shut down two major arteries into the city. Officer Kevin Tao of the California Highway Patrol said at least several other people were injured in the fiery crash, which sent plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the sky. The Los Angeles Times reported that nine people were hurt.

Local television images showed firefighters pouring water on the burned-out hulk of a tanker truck, a small car wedged underneath. A black pick-up truck that had been towing a trailer had come to rest on top of a center median, it's rear wheels well off the ground.

Local KTLA-TV reported that drivers not involved in the wreck fled their cars, running off the freeway onto a nearby golf course to escape the flames and carnage.The crash, which took place shortly before 11 a.m. local time, prompted authorities to close Interstate 5 in both directions north of downtown Los Angeles and the resulting clean-up and investigation also jammed the nearby Ventura (134) Freeway and nearby surface streets.