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Detonation of Sylmar gas tanks complete

October 16, 2011 |  9:41 am

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A third and final tank of volatile gas was successfully detonated at an energy plant in Sylmar on Sunday morning, officials said, and the 210 Freeway has reopened.

A Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad, working with federal environmental officials, detonated three tanks of volatile gas at an alternative-energy business in the 12300 block of Gladstone Avenue. A first detonation at about 7:45 a.m. destroyed two smaller tanks but failed to breach the main tank.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said a robot inspected the scene after the first detonation with inconclusive results, so bomb squad personnel went in and found that the third tank was still intact.

The second attempt was carried out around 9 a.m. and successfully destroyed the tank. The 210 Freeway and roads around the facility, closed intermittently during the operation, have been reopened.

Authorities removed a total of 23 canisters of pressurized chemicals and gases from the building after an Aug. 9 explosion that left Timothy B. Larson critically injured. A similar explosion occurred at a Simi Valley plant last year. Both plants were owned by Larson's father, Timothy A. Larson. Tyson Larson, 28, the brother of Timothy B. Larson, was killed in the Simi Valley explosion. The family-owned business is the subject of investigations by Cal-OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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— Abby Sewell

Photo: Three tanks of volatile gas, at left, after being detonated Sunday at a plant in Sylmar. Most of the damage shown was from the accidental explosion in August. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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