The incident was reported at 1:51 a.m. in the 1600 block of Bronson Avenue, prompting a response from the Los Angeles Fire Department, Department of Water and Power, and Department of Transportation.
Water from the broken pipe soared about 20 feet into the air, then rained down along with gravel and other debris onto nearby vehicles. The back window of one nearby car was completely shattered.
"I got shocked," said Oscar Medina, whose Honda Accord was severely damaged. "You wake up and you want to go to work, and you find your vehicle destroyed."
Forty local LADWP customers lost service as crews from the agency arrived at the scene and shut off the water at 2:30 a.m.
With residents grumbling, crews scrambled to make repairs to the road and the 6-inch cast-iron pipe, which was installed in 1929. Still, LADWP crews said the pipe's age is not necessarily the reason behind the rupture.
"We actually have pipes that are older, and this pipe is actually not in the worst conditions that we've seen. So once we fix the leak, we're going to go back and try to determine what was the cause of this break," said Mark Ching with LADWP.
LADWP said crews patched up the same pipe a couple of weeks ago, but this time, they are replacing the entire section.