LOS ANGELES – A Delta Airline flight taking off from the Los Angeles International Airport is confirmed to have dropped jet fuel on Park Avenue Elementary School after experiencing mechanical issues.
A statement from LAX confirmed that the Delta flight heading to Shanghai was taking off when it had mechanical issues and returned to the airport at 11:57 a.m. on Tuesday. Before returning to the airport the flight dumped jet fuel over a wide swath of the area, some of which rained down on the school’s playground where students and staff were present.
According to LA County Fire, there are 17 children and nine adults all with minor injuries. A total of 77 firefighters, six ambulances, and three paramedic squads were called to the scene.
“I live in the corner so I saw everything… so I Googled it and I’m like, 'Oh my God, we have to go.' I was so scared it could be the whole thing that’s going on with Trump and the war and I was like 'Oh my God. Can it start already, like a civil war here?' So I got scared and I ran over here,” said Lilliana Gonzalez, a mother of two students at the school.
Health Hazmat Units were called to assess the substance. None of those who were injured required hospitalization. Most suffered minor skin and respiratory problems.
Gonzalez says her children are OK.
“My son he is fine. It’s just me and my mom that are kind of shaken about it,” said Gonzalez.
No evacuation orders for the area were issued.
Students and faculty from nearby San Gabriel Elementary and Tweedy Elementary Schools were also treated with a total of 44 patients from three schools under LA County fire’s jurisdiction.
The plane landed safely back at LAX. No injuries were reported onboard.
Once all the families are reunited, questions start to form. Gonzalez says it’s hard to get any answers in the chaos even for parents.
“We can’t get any information. They’re not letting anybody in and we can’t talk to anybody or anything so we don’t know yet,“ said Gonzalez.
The Los Angeles School Police Department said that they are assisting county firefighters along with the Los Angeles Unified Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
The Los Angeles Unified School District released the following statement:
"Just before noon today, an airplane making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport discharged fuel while flying over our schools. Students and staff were on the playground at the time and may have been sprayed by fuel or inhaled fumes. Schools immediately called paramedics, who are on the scene and are treating anyone who is complaining of skin irritation or breathing problems. Educators are also visiting every classroom to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff. Los Angeles Unified’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety is also responding to assess the situation. This is a developing situation and we will provide you with updates as they become available."
The Federal Aviation Administration released the following statement:
"Delta Air Lines Flight 89 declared an emergency after departing from LAX, returned to the airport and landed without incident. The FAA is aware of and looking into reports that children at a school east of LAX are being treated for fuel exposure."
Delta Airlines released the following statement:
“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. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”
Spectrum News 1 is working to get more information.