An underground pipeline spewed thousands of gallons of crude oil Thursday near the Southern California coast but the foul-smelling goo was contained in a lengthy stretch of ravine and never reached nearby beaches.
About 29,000 gallons of oil spilled and flowed at least a quarter-mile in the canyon near Ventura, fire authorities said.
Resident Kirk Atwater said he called 911 after smelling and hearing the flowing crude. "We started getting this horrendous smell and I knew right away what it was," he said.
Atwater, 56, said he went up the canyon on his motor scooter and found the oil gushing from an above-ground box that he surmised covers equipment. "It was just pouring out like water coming out of a fire hydrant," he said.