A Delta flight Boeing 777-200 returning to Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday morning for emergency landing dropped jet fuel onto a school playground, dousing several students at Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy.
At least 20 children and 11 adults were treated for skin irritation from exposure to the jet fuel. 23 more patients from three nearby schools , Tweedy Elementary, Graham Elementary and San Gabriel Avenue Elementary, in surrounding cities, were also treated. In fact, fourteen schools were affected by the fuel dump and another 16 were evaluated. Over 70 firefighters and paramedics responded to the incident. People affected were decontaminated with soap and water. No one was hospitalized. The city of Downey sent out a text alert to residents advising them to close windows and doors to keep jet fuel odor out. The flight bound for Shanghai experienced engine issues before the incident and release of fuel was required before landing to avoid potentially crashing.
„ We are deeply concerned about reports of impacts on the ground from the fuel release, and are in close communication with Delta and first responders as their investigations continue," the airport said. The aircraft landed safely. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was investigating the incident. Usually, the procedures call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes.