Over two dozen, incl. children, injured after Boeing 777 dumps fuel on elementary school outside Los Angeles

Some 17 children and nine adults have been reported injured after a Boeing 777 returning to Los Angeles International Airport dropped fuel on an elementary school.

The plane performed an emergency fuel dump after experiencing mechanical problems taking off from LAX, local media have reported. About 70 firefighters and paramedics responded to Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy after children at the school complained of skin irritation and noxious fumes, according to local media.

Children at 93rd St elementary school in South Los Angeles were also treated for minor injuries, according to KABC, though that report has not been confirmed by police.

Videos posted to social media show fuel streaming from both of the plane’s wings as it passes by overhead. 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department has confirmed the dropped substance is jet fuel. The plane, a Delta Airlines flight bound for Shanghai, landed safely just before noon local time, an airport spokesperson told local media.

“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.” a Delta spokesperson said.

The plane reportedly suffered a compressor stall on taking off, necessitating its return to LAX, but was too low to safely dump fuel, which typically evaporates before hitting the ground, according to local media.