Los Angeles museum uncovered, but not destroyed, after mystery fire

Written by By Cory Bennett, CNN What canaries can do for the environment? Thousands canaries have died due to exposure to toxic gases which are produced by canaries, and can be used by people…

Los Angeles museum uncovered, but not destroyed, after mystery fire

Written by By Cory Bennett, CNN

What canaries can do for the environment? Thousands canaries have died due to exposure to toxic gases which are produced by canaries, and can be used by people to simulate the effects of toxic gases in their labs.

It may be a quaint tale — a simple anecdote about a poisonous puff of gas, blown from a canary — but it’s important in terms of the history of the Los Angeles canary laboratory. In the 1930s and 1940s, David Grundstein performed research at the now-demolished Natural History Museum on topics relating to librarians and canaries, and use of canaries to measure gas emissions in human laboratories.

In the 1970s, the Golden State was ravaged by an incident which rivaled those of the Holocaust and the space race: Ten babies were killed when toxic gases seeped into the non-living tissue of their mothers. The Los Angeles Fire Department turned to Grundstein’s theories about the canary, and their research into L.A.’s canary volcano, Sierra, led to a reduction in the toxic gas emissions from the area. Grundstein, however, later went on to write books on Chernobyl and Fukushima.

After an unexpected fire on Wednesday, all but one of the remains of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum have been found. Courtesy KCBS

The Natural History Museum was built over lava flow that erupted from the ground under the Angeles National Forest above Glendora, on the eastern side of Los Angeles. Thousands of decomposing pieces of lava caused an underground rise that, under a sheltered and above-ground environment, reached the city above, close to the now-closed Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

Highly toxic gases — including nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, strontium 100 and plutonium — were produced when the lava emerged. Some of the lava fired into the city’s air.

A video explaining Los Angeles County Natural History Museum as a survivor volcano had been playing around the new Skylark RV, filmed this spring by Marye DiDomizio and riding through the Redondo Beach area on her bike. Then, this Wednesday night, shortly after 5 p.m., four cars collided with another in the middle of the eastbound 405 Freeway on the Glenn Anderson (I-5) Freeway north of downtown Los Angeles. A car slid in the centre lane and became disabled. As people either lay waiting to get out or tried to extricate themselves from vehicles, a car traveling in the same direction began to accelerate, sending two vehicles into the other. The male driver of that car was killed instantly and the female driver of the vehicle which was hit, as well as three passengers and a Los Angeles County firefighter, suffered moderate injuries. There were no children in the car. The car then continued south on the ramp, traveled into the oncoming lanes of traffic and crashed into a fourth vehicle, another car going north on the I-5. The driver of that car received minor injuries.

According to the investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, the driver was unable to make any kind of right turn while operating his car. The investigation ruled that the driver, a 58-year-old man who resided in Redondo Beach, had suffered a medical episode that left him unable to safely control his car.

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