Multiple Students Treated After Plane Reportedly Dumps Fuel on Elementary School Playground

Air Lines Flight 89 to Shanghai China dumps fuel over Los Angeles before returning to Los Angeles International Airport for an emergency landing Jan. 14 2020

In addition to Park Avenue, other schools in the area were also impacted by the jet fuel dump, including Jordan High School in Florence-Firestone and 93rd St.

LAX Airport issued a statement about the incident, saying that this morning Delta Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai reported a mechanical issue and returned to the airport.

"Students and employees who were on the playground were sprayed by the fuel, or inhaled fumes", said Jackie Goldberg, board vice president of the Los Angeles Unified School District, "some had to be treated for injuries, including breathing problems and skin irritation".

Some 17 children and 6 adults have been reported injured after a Boeing 777 returning to Los Angeles Airport (LAX) dropped fuel on an elementary school playground.

In a statement provided to news.com.au, a spokesperson for the airline said the plane experienced "engine issues" requiring an "emergency fuel release".

Those hit by the jet fuel were decontaminated with soap and water, and did not need to be hospitalized, said Sgt. Rudy Perez of the Los Angeles School Police Department. There were no evacuations ordered for the immediate area.

"In this emergency situation, the fuel-dumping procedure did not occur at an optimal altitude that would have allowed the fuel to atomize properly", the FAA said in a statement.

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"I'm very upset", said Cudahy Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar to the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating.

Shortly afterward, the air filled with the pungent odour of fuel.

It was not immediately clear which flight dumped the fuel, nor the reason. However, the FAA designates that fuel be dumped over certain underpopulated areas, and at high altitudes so the fuel can dissipate before landing. Retired United Airlines pilot Douglas Moss told the Times that the captain is "authorised to break any rule in the book", so long as his actions are "in the best interest of safety".

The flight is seen dumping its fuel.

"He's flying an airplane with a damaged engine that may be on fire", Moss said. "Everybody's trying to do the best they can but it's a fast-paced, dynamic ballgame and there's not a lot of time to think ... lives are at stake", Moss said.

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