Marina del Rey hospital ER reopens after liquid oxygen spill

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. (KABC) -- The emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital was temporarily closed on Monday due to spilled liquid oxygen.

The spill happened shortly before 9 a.m. in a parking lot adjacent to the emergency room, and hazardous-materials crews were working to clear the scene.

The emergency room was reopened around 2:30 p.m.

Authorities said the spill occurred after a pipe sheared. The pipe is part of a 2,000-gallon oxygen tank which feeds oxygen to patients, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Erik Scott.

Once the pipe sheared, it created a shoulder-high vapor cloud in the parking lot area of the hospital, located at 4650 Lincoln Boulevard. Portions of walls, street and even ambulance tires slightly froze from the released oxygen.

Scott said there was no immediate life threat from the spill.

Crews were working to thaw the ice out, make access to the pipe where it sheared and get an engineer to fix it. Meantime, other oxygen tanks, including some from the LAFD, were being used for patients.

The emergency room was closed to new patients but patients already inside were still being treated, some of which were transported to other hospitals.

LAFD officials said there were initial reports of spilled liquid nitrogen, but it was later determined the spill was of liquid oxygen.

Surrounding streets were closed as crews continued to work at the scene.
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