A Delta Airlines jet flying from Los Angeles to Shanghai on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing at LAX — and dumped jet fuel on the city, including on children playing outside at Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Delta Flight 89 had taken off from LAX with 149 passengers and was en route to Shanghai when it turned around and headed back to the airport because of engine trouble.
According to Flightradar24, Tuesday’s flight never got above 8,000 feet and was at about 2,300 feet when it passed over Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy at 11:53 a.m. The plane showered jet fuel on schoolchildren below.
CBS News reported that three schools were affected:
The pilot reported a compressor stall in the right engine — damage that can happen through malfunction or when a foreign object such as a bird hits an engine. The damage can reduce engine thrust or lead to a fire in the worst cases.
The fuel sprayed out in two streams from the wings and fell at midday in the city of Cudahy and nearby parts of Los Angeles County, about 13 miles east of the airport.
The vapor directly landed on three Los Angeles Unified School District campuses and about 20 others experienced some effects from the odor of fuel discharged at higher altitudes, the district said in a statement.
The fuel, described by fire officials as a vapor, caused minor skin and lung irritation to 56 children and adults but nobody was taken to the hospital and the only decontamination required was soap and water, officials said.
All the schools were cleaned overnight.
At least one observer caught the action in a video posted to Twitter:
Caught this in Bell Gardens over my house NEWS SAID IT DROPPED FUEL OVER AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN CUDAHY @KTLA @FOXLA @cnnbrk @UniNoticias @NBCLA @ABC7 @ABC @NBCNews @TelemundoNews pic.twitter.com/VG3HBpyYtn
— Sujey Hernandez (@SujeyHernandez) January 14, 2020
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating. There are questions as to whether the pilots needed to dump the fuel, or whether they could have avoided doing so, or done so over an unpopulated area instead.
Students returned to school Wednesday as usual.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.