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Firetruck slams restaurant

Fourteen people were injured, including five firefighters, when two firetrucks collided in a Los Angeles suburb Wednesday, sending one careening across a sidewalk and into a restaurant.

One of the victims was in critical condition, officials said.

The crash in Monterey Park left one truck embedded in the restaurant, with shattered glass and rubble scattered across the sidewalk. Chairs and tables were scattered inside.

"There was a loud boom and a lot of shaking. I thought it was an earthquake," said Wendy Wu, a waitress who was in a walk-in freezer when the truck plowed through the front of the restaurant.

When she walked out from the freezer, uninjured, she saw a refrigerator pushed across the room and furniture in disarray. Wearing a uniform with the restaurant logo and speaking through an interpreter, she said she saw several injured people bleeding and attempting to stand.

Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Birrell said trucks from his city and neighbouring Alhambra were responding to a house fire shortly after 3 p.m. when they slammed into each other. One truck then plowed into the restaurant, and 14 people were injured, he said.

Rosa Saca, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said nine victims were brought there, including the five firefighters. She said the critically injured person was among the hospital's patients but is not one of the firefighters.

An investigation was underway to determine what caused the crash.

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