Numerous schoolchildren and other people were injured Tuesday when a crippled airliner dumped a load of jet fuel onto a playground while making an emergency landing in Los Angeles, officials said.
Delta DAL, +3.29% Flight 89 to Shanghai was trying to make it back to Los Angeles International Airport shortly after takeoff when it released the fuel “to reduce landing weight,” airline rep Adrian Gee said in a statement that made no mention of the 42 victims.
Two classes were in a playground at the Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy when the fuel rained down on them, LA County Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange told the LA Times.
“Students and staff were on the playground at the time and may have been sprayed by fuel or inhaled fumes,” the LA Unified School District said.
Video of the incident showed the low-flying plane — which landed safely — with large twisting contrails of fuel coming from its wings.
More than 70 firefighters and paramedics responded to the school and treated the patients, who suffered minor injuries, including skin irritation and breathing problems, the Fire Department said on Twitter.
Two other schools in the area — Jordan HS in Florence-Firestone and the 93rd Street Elementary School in Green Meadows —- were also impacted by the fuel dump.
A total of 16 people at the two sites were treated for minor injuries, according to the Fire Department.
No one had to be hospitalized.
Officials in Cudahy were enraged, and demanded to know why the fuel was dropped over the Park Avenue school.
“I’m very upset. This is an elementary school; these are small children,” Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar told the LA Times.
Cudahy City Council member Jack Guerrero demanded a probe of the incident.
“Sadly, our entire community has been adversely impacted by this incident, including dozens of children,” he said.