The spill was reported near an unincorporated area of the city, according to the Compton Fire Department.
Around 1:30 p.m., fire officials said a leak has been capped.
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The incident was reported at an old construction site. Workers were cleaning up and tipped a storage tank, fire officials said.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department Hazmat team was able to upright the tank, isolate and cap the leak.
Compton Fire said they are waiting for Hazmat to identify the substance. It's not known if the leak was a liquid or gas.
Fire officials said the smell was not dangerous but recommended residents near Compton College stay indoors until the smell dissipates.
No injuries or evacuations were reported.