Delta Jet Dumps Fuel on Playground Before Emergency Landing at LAX

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A jetliner making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday afternoon dumped fuel over a wide area of Los Angeles, including on an elementary school playground filled with children.

Delta Air Lines Flight 89 to Shanghai, China, dumped fuel over Los Angeles before returning to Los Angeles International Airport for an emergency landing Tuesday. Fire officials say the dumped fuel fell onto an elementary school playground. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)

Paramedics treated 67 patients from five elementary schools, a preschool and high school in Cudahy, South Gate and south L.A. in L.A. County after Delta flight 89 dropped jet fuel on multiple school grounds, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

No one was hit by fuel, there was no evacuation ordered and no one was taken to the hospital, according to fire officials who said all injuries appeared to be minor.

The flight had taken off from LAX on Tuesday afternoon on its way to Shanghai, China, when an engine problem forced pilots to return to the airport and make an emergency landing. Social media feeds in Southern California were replete with video and images of two trails of white liquid trailing the jetliner, which landed safely.

“Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return quickly to LAX. The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight,” Delta said in an emailed statement. “We are in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the LA County Fire Department and share concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at a school in the area.”

No one on the plane or on the ground at LAX was injured.

There were also reports of emergency crew responses at Graham Elementary School and Tweedy Elementary School in South Gate, a few miles from Cudahy, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

LAX acknowledged the incident in an emailed statement.

“We are concerned about reports of impacts on the ground from the fuel release, and are in close communication with Delta and first responders as their investigation continue,” the airport said. “We thank LA County Fire, the LA Fire Department and other responding agencies for their fast response and we are working to learn more.”

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