17 children injured after a plane dumped jet fuel over their elementary school playground near Los Angeles

More than a dozen elementary school kids in Cudahy were being evaluated Tuesday after an aircraft dumped fuel on its final approach to LAX, authorities said.

Dozens of people, including 17 children and nine adults at Park Avenue Elementary School reported a reaction after they were exposed to jet fuel that reportedly fell on a playground, according to Los Angeles County firefighters.

Some patients complained of skin and eye irritation but there were no reports of anyone being taken to a hospital.

Los Angeles County firefighters later confirmed that the substance was, in fact, jet fuel and that all injuries were minor.

The FAA said in a statement to CBSLA’s Cristy Fajardo, “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.”

FlightAware map shows Delta flight 89 returning to LAX shortly after departure.

Delta Air Lines said in a 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 weightWe will provide more information as it becomes available.”

The airline later said, “This morning, Delta Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai reported a mechanical issue and returned safely to LAX. Delta has confirmed that the aircraft conducted an emergency fuel release while in flight. We are concerned about reports of impacts on the ground from the fuel release, and are in close communication with Delta and first responders as their investigators continue. We thanks LA County Fire, the LA Fire Department and other responding agencies for their fast response and we are working to learn more.”

Los Angeles Unified school officials said they were aware of the situation and looking into it.

The Los Angeles Fire Department, paramedics, and a HazMat team also responded to Jordan High School and 93rd Elementary for exposure.

A total of 16 patients were evaluated with minor complaints but no one was taken to a hospital.

The Downey Fire Department advised residents to keep odor out, close doors, windows, and air conditioning or heating systems following the nearby fuel drop.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

Author: CBS LA
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