Image: Crashed big rigs
Gus Ruelas  /  AP
Emergency personnel pump off fuel as they work to cleanup an accident involving eight big rigs and nine other vehicles on rain-slicked Interstate 5 in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles Monday night.
updated 12/13/2011 10:13:53 AM ET 2011-12-13T15:13:53

A Southern California freeway tunnel where at least eight tractor-trailer trucks collided was reopened Tuesday morning, eight hours after the pileup that caused three minor injuries.

The Interstate 5 truck tunnel in the Newhall area north of Los Angeles reopened shortly before 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The pileup occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Monday near State Route 14.

The trucks involved included four tankers containing gas, crude oil, milk and chemicals, but none ruptured, Los Angeles Fire Department Erik Scott said.

The cause of the crash was under investigation. It rained throughout the day and the roadway was slick, but CHP investigators did not immediately indicate if weather contributed to the crash.

The pileup occurred near the site of a deadly chain-reaction crash in 2007 that involved more than two dozen vehicles and left three people dead. A truck driver speeding on the rain-slicked interstate — the major West Coast route between Mexico and Canada — lost control and crashed into a median barrier in the truck lane tunnel, setting off the crashes and sparking a deadly inferno, investigators concluded.

The 2007 collisions closed the busy highway for two days and cost $17 million to clean up and repair.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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