Gas tanker explosion near Los Angeles injures 2; smoke could be seen for miles

A leaky gas tanker burst into flames south of Los Angeles on Sunday, injuring two people and sending a cloud of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

The explosion unfolded Sunday morning in Florence. Photos showed one nearby home blackened from the flames and smoke just a few hours later. The fire department tweeted out updates throughout Sunday morning.

A view of the tanker and charred home during the aftermath of the gas explosion near Los Angeles.

A view of the tanker and charred home during the aftermath of the gas explosion near Los Angeles. (LAFD - Erik Scott)

Two people were rushed to the hospital with unknown injuries, but there were no deaths. The blast sent a manhole cover flying into the air and flames shooting out of the storm drain, police said in a statement.

GAS LINE EXPLODES, SPARKS FIRE IN SAN FRANCISCO; 8 WORKERS FOUND SAFE, OFFICIALS SAY

Firefighters got a call in the morning about the smell of gas in the air, and when they arrived at the scene they found a 9,000-gallon tanker leaking. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said the gas connected with an ignition source and exploded into flames, forcing the firefighters back and leaving the nearby houses open to the flames.

The fire can be seen from over a mile away.

The fire can be seen from over a mile away. (LAFD - Erik Scott)

"Companies put water on the fire, trying to protect two buildings that were exposed to the flames," firefighter Nicolas Prange told Reuters.

At least one family was forced to leave. Some 72 firefighters tried to put out the blaze, and it was finally extinguished after almost two hours. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) said the fuel type originally was thought to be natural gas, but investigators later determined it was gasoline.

GAS LEAK IN PARIS CAUSES EXPLOSION LEAVING SEVERAL INJURED

Photos showed the tanker was transformed into a heap of scrap metal after nearly two hours of being on fire.

Firefighters put out the last bit of flames in the aftermath of the tanker explosion.

Firefighters put out the last bit of flames in the aftermath of the tanker explosion. (LAFD - Erik Scott)

LAFD Hazardous Materials specialists were on the scene to determine the environmental impact of the blaze and to make sure crews still working near the incident were safe. The LAPD said arson investigators also were dispatched to investigate any possible foul play.

Southern California Gas Co. crews were evaluating whether any of their equipment was damaged in the explosion, according to spokeswoman Melissa Bailey.