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King Harbor sardines topple off big rig on 215 Freeway

March 11, 2011 |  6:24 pm

Sardeens
A load of sardines from the King Harbor fish die-off in Redondo Beach toppled off a big rig on the 215 Freeway near Colton during Friday afternoon rush hour, creating a traffic nightmare and prompting the closure of all but one of the northbound lanes.

The dead fish were being taken to a facility in Victorville to be turned into fertilizer when the spill occurred, causing treacherous road conditions on the freeway and creating a 10-mile-long traffic jam, said Caltrans District 8 spokeswoman Terri Kasinga.

"The biggest problem we have right now is that the roadway is so slippery," Kasinga said.

Caltrans workers have been shoveling the dead fish over to the side of the road and mixing in loads of dirt to make the sardines easier to pick up, she said.

Crews also ran out of a special absorbent they use to clean up oil and other slick material that spills on the freeway, and are awaiting replenishments, she said.

The spill occurred about 3:20 p.m. near the Mount Vernon Avenue offramp. Caltrans hopes to have the spill cleaned up by 6:30 p.m.

Workers at King Harbor in Redondo Beach so far have scooped up 35 tons of dead fish from the marina.

ALSO:

Toxic algae may have played role in huge fish die-off

Tsunami could help clear out dead fish in Redondo Beach

Study shows widespread ingestion of plastic by fish, raises health concerns

-- Phil Willon

Photo: Dead sardines from King Harbor in Redondo Beach are loaded into a container to be trucked to a recycling facility, where they will be turned into fertilizer. Credit: Noaki Schwartz / Associated Press

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