Delta plane drops fuel on 3 Los Angeles-area schools; at least 42 patients treated

Posted at 9:48 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 23:48:20-05

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Dozens of people at three schools in the Los Angeles area were treated after a plane with mechanical issues dumped a load of jet fuel while returning to LAX for an emergency landing on Tuesday, officials said.

The incident was initially reported before noon at Park Avenue Elementary School in the 8000 block of Park Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A total of 26 people -- 17 children and nine adults -- complained of minor injuries after Delta Air Lines Flight 89 dropped fuel over the elementary school's playground, officials said. The patients were triaged on the campus, which is about 14 miles east of Los Angeles International Airport, but none were taken to a hospital.

Seventy county firefighters and paramedics responded to what was described as a multicasualty incident.

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. Elementary School in Green Meadows, officials with the Los Angeles Fire Department later confirmed.

Sixteen people were treated for minor injuries between the two campuses, bringing the total of number between all three schools to 42. None of the patients at the South L.A. schools were transported, an LAFD alert stated.

No evacuations were ordered, but the Los Angeles Unified School District's Office of Environment Health and Safety was dispatched, according to LAUSD.

The plane, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 bound for Shanghai, had mechanical issues and landed safely at LAX just before noon, according to an airport spokesperson.

The  Shanghai-bound plane had just taken off when it began experiencing an engine issue, which forced it to return to the airport, Delta said in a statement.

"The aircraft landed safely after an emergency fuel release to reduce landing weight," the statement read. "We will provide more information as it becomes available."

LAFD reported that the plane "passed over the school at a relatively low altitude."

A number of people complained of smelling the fuel's noxious odor in the aftermath of the incident.

This is a developing story.