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More Than 60 People Treated After Airplane Dumps Jet Fuel Over L.A. Schools

Caitlyn Clancey 15 Jan 2020

A Delta Airlines jet making an emergency landing at Los Angeles Airport on Tuesday dumped jet fuel over multiple elementary schools in the area, leaving more than 60 adults and children exposed to the harmful liquid.

According to NBC News, the jet experienced an engine issue shortly after takeoff, requiring it to release fuel in order to quickly return to LAX.

Delta Flight 89 was on its way to Shanghai when it ran into unexpected troubles midair.

The airlines released a statement following Tuesday's events:

"The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight."

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Planes dumping fuel midair is a typical procedure in order to reduce the craft's weight prior to landing.

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As Business Insider reported, planes carry more fuel than necessary to reach their destination, and that extra liquid is used in case of a longer flight if the aircraft needs to divert or re-route.

The extra fuel is heavy and can cause problems when landing early, since the plane is supposed to have used up most of that liquid before putting its wheels down.

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Although the plane was able to safely return to LAX, the crisis was not without its injuries on the ground.

The undisclosed amount of fuel was dumped over a Los Angeles schoolyard and multiple school buildings just before noon. At the time of the release, two classes were being held outside in Park Avenue Elementary's playground.

"Students and staff were on the playground at the time and may have been sprayed by fuel or inhaled fumes," the Los Angeles Unified School District said, as reported by NBC News.

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While no one was taken to hospital, the L.A. County Fire Department tweeted that 67 children and adults were treated on scene with minor injuries.

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Some victims of the fuel dump complained of skin and eye irritation and were treated with soap and water before being released.

Others were treated for breathing problems after being exposed to the toxic fuel. Fire officials say they don't expect any victims to experience significant side effects.

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Delta said it has been in touch with L.A. World Airports and the L.A. County Fire Department in regards to the reported injuries.

As per the airline's statement, Delta will continue to investigate the issue and encourages anyone who believes they or their property may have been affected by the jet fuel release to contact the airlines directly.

h/t: NBC News, Business Insider

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