Plane dumps fuel on school playground as it returns to LAX after declaring emergency
By Peter Martinez
/ CBS News
A Delta plane returning to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after declaring an engine emergency dumped fuel on an elementary school playground in Southern California, firefighter officials said Tuesday. Officials said 70 firefighters responded to the city of Cudahy near the airport, according to CBS Los Angeles.
The children at Park Avenue Elementary School reported skin irritation and smelled what they said was jet fuel in the area, some 13 miles east of LAX. There were also reports of fuel at 93rd Elementary and Jordan High School.
Los Angeles fire officials tweeted a total of 17 children and nine adults had minor injuries. None were hospitalized and were treated on scene.
Flight tracking website FlightAware showed Delta Air Lines Flight 89 to Shanghai, China, left LAX and circled back over Southern California before returning to the airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the flight declared an emergency after departing from LAX, returned to the airport and landed without incident. "The FAA is aware of and looking into reports that children at a school east of LAX are being treated for fuel exposure," the administration said.
Delta said: "Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return to LAX."
Los Angeles Unified School District issued a statement saying "students and staff were on the playground at the time and may have been sprayed by fuel or inhaled fumes." Paramedics were immediately called, officials said, and anyone reporting skin irritation or breathing problems were treated.
Some on social media captured what appeared to be the plane dumping fuel as it approached LAX in an attempt to lower the plane's weight before it made a successful landing.
First published on January 14, 2020 / 4:46 PM
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