It has been reported that 60 people were treated for injuries after a plane had dumped jet fuel near five elementary schools and one high school while returning to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on January 14 for an emergency landing.
The most severely affected school was Park Avenue Elementary in Cudahy – situated 9 miles (30.5 km) east of LAX. A number of 20 children and 11 adults reported minor injuries.
Reports of injuries from minors came after the jet fuel was dumped over a playground by Delta Airlines Flight 89. According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, there were no immediate evacuation orders in the affected area and none of the victims were transferred to a hospital.
As released by the fire department on Twitter, the affected schools include:
- Park Avenue Elementary #Cudahy: 31 patients
- Tweedy Elementary #SouthGate: 6 patients
- Graham Elementary #FlorenceGraham: 1 patient
- San Gabriel Elementary #SouthGate: 6 patients
The victims complained of experiencing itchy skin and eyes, and sore throats. The fuel also left a noxious odor. Many students walking away from the school in Cudahy could be seen covering their noses with their hands, clothing and surgical masks.
Residents around Park Avenue Elementary reportedly described being able to rub gasoline off their cars with their fingers.
Reported engine issues
The pilot of the Shanghai-bound plane reported an engine problem a few minutes after takeoff. “Delta 89, heavy, we have engine compressor stalls on the right engine,” the pilot reported to air traffic control, as heard in a recording of the radio conversation.
Delta has stated that the Boeing 777 had engine troubles which required the pilot to turn around to LAX. “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. 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,” reads a statement by Delta.