LOS ANGELES - Fire crews treated at least 44 students and staff after a jetliner about to make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport dumped its load of fuel as it flew over schools.
Some 20 students and 11 adults at Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy, a small city southeast of Los Angeles, reported irritation to their skin and eyes, firefighters said. Though the incident triggered a massive response of fire engines, hazardous materials trucks and ambulances, none of the injuries were considered serious to require transport to a hospital.
In addition, fire crews treated others at Tweedy, Graham, San Gabriel and 93rd Street elementary schools and Jordan High School in nearby communities. In the adjacent city of Downey, the fire department said it received calls from concerned residents and had sent out a reverse 911 call advising that windows and doors be kept closed.
Caught this in Bell Gardens over my house NEWS SAID IT DROPPED FUEL OVER AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN CUDAHY @KTLA @FOXLA @cnnbrk @UniNoticias @NBCLA @ABC7 @ABC @NBCNews @TelemundoNews pic.twitter.com/VG3HBpyYtn
- Sujey Hernandez (@SujeyHernandez) January 14, 2020
"Everyone is going through decon," Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Sky Cornell told KTLA-TV at Park Avenue Elementary, referring to decontamination. "We do have constant monitoring going on right now."
The twin-engine Delta Air Lines jetliner, Flight 89 bound for Shanghai, landed without incident. It had returned to the airport because of engine trouble, Delta said.
The school is beneath the flight path for aircraft on approach to LAX. Images posted to social media show the plane spraying fuel from both of its wings from a low altitude. Delta said a fuel dump is normal procedure before emergency landings shortly after takeoffs in order to reduce the aircraft's weight.
The Federal Aviation Administration said special emergency procedures call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomizes and disperses before it reaches the ground. It said it is investigating.
Neighborhoods beneath the Delta plane's flight path were reportedly left pungent with the smell of jet fuel.
Delta said it has been in contact with officials about the reported injuries at the school. And airport executives said they, too, are monitoring the situation.
"We are concerned about 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 in a statement.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Delta jet dumps fuel before emergency landing over elementary school,