Dozens injured after jet dumps fuel over schools in Los Angeles: Report

Emergency crews rushed to respond after a passenger jet making an emergency approach to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) dumped fuel over several schools in L.A., causing minor injuries to at least 50 adults and children on the ground, NBC News reported Tuesday. 

The aircraft, a Boeing 777 operated by Delta Air Lines, had just taken off from L.A. en route to Shanghai, China, when it suffered an engine malfunction and was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing, according to The Hill. The fuel dump was a precaution taken to reduce its weight and lessen the potential of a devastating explosion if the plane crashed during the emergency landing.

Unfortunately, it appears that there were several elementary schools located along the airliner’s flight path during the fuel dump, and panic ensued when authorities realized the schools had essentially been doused with jet fuel.

An emergency in LA

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) rapidly mobilized its firefighters and paramedics in response to the emergency, according to NBC.

Initial reports pegged the number of injured at around 23, including 17 children and six adults. But by Wednesday afternoon, NBC had reported that the LACFD said “more than 60 people were treated from seven schools in the area.”

Left unmentioned were the other businesses and homes along the flight path that also suffered an impact from the fuel dump.

An investigation to follow

In an official statement from Delta Air Lines, senior coordinator Adrian Gee said the flight “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,” Gee added. “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.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly investigating the incident.

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