By Anna Buss
Authorities say two fire trucks crashed Wednesday afternoon at a major intersection in Monterey Park, leaving at least 15 people injured, including six firefighters.
The crash, reported at 3:12 p.m., involved a truck from the Alhambra Fire Department and another from Monterey Park, officials told the Los Angeles Times.
With the impact, the engine from Monterey Park was sent into a Chinese restaurant, where more than a dozen people were, said one of the restaurant’s owner. “It’s so crazy, I couldn’t believe it was my restaurant,” said Vivian Lu, a co-owner of the Lu’s Dumpling House restaurant.
It remains unclear what led to the crash, but a major-accident team from the California Highway Patrol has been assigned to investigate it. Officials said at the time of the crash, the two fire trucks had their lights and sirens running, so they would review everything from the speed of the trucks.
At first account, CHP Officer Doris Peniche told the Times that the Alhambra ladder truck was traveling south on Garfield and the Monterey Park engine was heading east on Emerson. With more than a third of the truck still inside the restaurant Wednesday evening, investigators began snapping pictures of the truck and the rubble piled around it.
“This is the first time I’ve witnessed an accident like this,” Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Birrell told the Times.
The six injured firefighters were equally split between the two trucks. officials reported they suffered minor to moderate injuries, and that no fatalies were reported, but at least one person was critically injured.
Nine of the patients were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said, while six others were sent to Garfield Medical Center.