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210 Freeway closed as Sylmar prepares for explosion

October 16, 2011 |  7:28 am

Officials have delayed the detonation of a gas canister in Sylmar, originally planned for 6:30 a.m., until approximately 7:30.

Federal environmental officials are planning to detonate at least one canister of highly volatile gas at a building in an industrial park in Sylmar — and it could cause a little early morning shaking, authorities said. A portion of the 210 Freeway is temporarily closed for the operation. The canister of tylar gas, a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, will be detonated at an alternative-energy business in the 12300 block of Gladstone Avenue.

Authorities are choosing to destroy the canister in place because it is too volatile to transport, said Harry Allen, a section chief for Region 9 of the Environmental Protection Agency. Allen did not know the volume of the container. Nearby businesses and residents have been notified to expect the blast, Allen said, adding that damage is expected to be minimal.

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 occured in Simi Valley 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.

The California Highway Patrol said the 210 Freeway would be closed for up to several hours between Maclay Avenue and the 118 Freeway. A parallel section of Foothill Boulevard also will be closed.

— Catherine Saillant and Abby Sewell