LEIMERT PARK (CNS) – Space shuttle Endeavour was delayed by some last- minute tree trimming in Inglewood today, and more than a dozen of the thousands of people waiting for it to be shuttled up Crenshaw Boulevard began to keel over from the heat.
At 2:30 p.m., the shuttle was approaching Florence Avenue, about three miles south of the Baldwin Crenshaw Plaza, where it was supposed to dock at 2 p.m. Firefighters tending the thousands of spectators asked for bottled drinking water, and gave medical attention to a few people.
The victims ranged from the 50s to the 70s, and reporting dizziness and dehydration, according to paramedics at the scene. A few diabetic shock cases were also radioed in.
Many of the victims were near the intersection of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw boulevards and firefighters arranged to have water stations set up near that intersection by the Krispy Kreme donut shop, according to the California Science Center and emergency radio transmissions from the scene.
The delay may have been caused by some sort of arboreal hazard on Manchester Avenue, near Van Ness Avenue. The giant vehicle was idled about an hour while its attendant squad of just-in-case tree trimmers went to work.
The latest Southern California sensation made its drive-by past the Inglewood City Hall without delay as the sun rose. It actually arrived at the Forum about 45 minutes early, and was held there until its scheduled creep east on Manchester Boulevard.
Friday night’s tiptoe over the San Diego (405) Freeway — which required unloading from its transporter device and a brief tow from a pickup truck — was accomplished without a hitch, organizers said. The 405 was briefly closed to prevent gaper-block.
The 170,000 pound shuttle is atop four self-propelled trailers, weighing about 300,000 pounds gross. That was too much for Caltrans, so Endeavour was towed over the 405 by a Toyota pickup truck, with video cameras rolling for TV commercials.
Jeffrey Rudolph, the president and chief executive of the California Science Center, called Friday’s leg of the move “a great start.” “Everything is really going according to plan, exactly as we hoped for,” he said.
Saturday night, parking lots will be made available for spectators, as the orbiter rolls into Exposition Park. Four lots will be open between Bill Robertson Lane and Vermont Avenue north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Those streets will close from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to authorities. Public viewing areas at the California Science Center will open at 5:30 p.m.
Metro will add extra Expo Line trains to Exposition Park, from Culver City and downtown Los Angeles, and Expo trains will be on 6-minute intervals. Free park-and-ride is available at Metro garages at La Brea Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard, and a large lot at the Culver City station.
Metro subway trains will run with extra cars from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. to allow transfer to the Expo Line at Seventh at Figueroa streets. Gold Line trains will also have extra cars, to allow connections to the subway and then the Expo Line.
At the California Science Center, the shuttle will go on public display beginning Oct. 30.