Over two dozen, incl. children, injured after Boeing 777 dumps fuel on elementary school outside Los Angeles

, Over two dozen, incl. children, injured after Boeing 777 dumps fuel on elementary school outside Los Angeles, TravelWireNews | World News

Some 17 children and nine adults have been reported injured after a Boeing 777 returning to Los Angeles International Airport dropped fuel on two elementary schools.

The plane performed an emergency fuel dump after experiencing mechanical problems taking off from LAX. About 70 firefighters and paramedics responded to Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy after children at the school complained of skin irritation and noxious fumes, according to local media.

Children at 93rd St elementary school in South Los Angeles were also treated for minor injuries, according to KABC. Los Angeles School Police Department has confirmed that apart from Park Avenue Elementary, another two schools – 93rd St Elementary and Jordan High School – have been affected by the incident. Both were dismissed for the rest of the day.

Videos posted to social media show fuel streaming from both of the plane’s wings as it passes by overhead. 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department has confirmed the dropped substance is jet fuel. The plane, a Delta Airlines flight bound for Shanghai, landed safely just before noon local time, an airport spokesperson told local media.

“Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return to LAX. The aircraft landed safely after an emergency fuel release to reduce landing weight.” a Delta spokesperson said.

The plane reportedly suffered a compressor stall on taking off, necessitating its return to LAX, but was too low to safely dump fuel, which typically evaporates before hitting the ground, according to local media.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has launched an investigation into the incident, noting that there are “special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of major US airport” which the Boeing’s crew apparently ran afoul of.

The FAA said in a statement that the applicable rules envision that fuel should be dropped “over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomizes and disperses before it reaches the ground.”

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