Plane dumps jet fuel over school during emergency landing in LAX

At least 17 children and nine adults were treated for breathing problems and skin irritation

In this photo from video, Delta Air Lines Flight 89 to Shanghai, China dumps fuel over Los Angeles before returning to Los Angeles International Airport for an emergency landing Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Fire officials say fuel apparently dumped by the aircraft returning to LAX fell onto an elementary school playground. A fire department tweet says firefighters are assessing "multiple patients" at the school in the suburban city of Cudahy, Calif. The flight tracking website FlightAware shows that Delta Air Lines Flight 89 to Shanghai, China, departed LAX, circled back over Southern California and returned to the airport. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
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A passenger plane dumped fuel over a school playground on Tuesday as it made an emergency landing in Los Angeles, leaving at least 26 people needing medical treatment.

Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics rushed to a primary school in Cudahy, California, after people were exposed to jet fuel from the aircraft.

At least 17 children and nine adults at Park Elementary School were treated at the scene for breathing problems and skin irritation. All of the conditions were said to be minor.

The Delta Airlines Boeing 777 had taken off from Los Angeles International Airport and was flying to Shanghai, but had to return due to engine issues.

“Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return to LAX,” Delta spokesperson Adrian Gee said.

“The aircraft landed safely after an emergency fuel release to reduce landing weight.”

Two classes were outside at the time the fuel was released, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Elizabeth Alcantar, the mayor of Cudahy, told the paper: “I’m very upset. This is an elementary school, these are small children.”

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told Reuters: “The FAA is thoroughly investigating the circumstances behind this incident. There are special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of any major US airport.

“These procedures call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomises and disperses before it reaches the ground.”