Over twenty children were injured when a Delta flight was forced to dump fuel during an emergency shortly after departure from LAX.
Delta Flight 89 was on its way to Shanghai, China on Tuesday when a problem in the engine emerged. The plane turned around twenty minutes after takeoff and dropped fuel from about 2,000 feet in the air during the landing. The fuel was released as an emergency precaution, but injured more than 60 people, including 20 children. Luckily, there were no major injuries and no one needed to be taken to a hospital.
Ramona Garcia, principal at Park Avenue Elementary School shared that “the kids were safe, the paramedics were called, firefighters, they were here within three minutes, four minutes, and the students that were experiencing symptoms were taken care of.'' The Los Angeles Unified School District stated that students and staff were treated for skin irritation and breathing troubles due to the gas exposure. The L.A Fire Department responded to the District that there should not be significant side effects to the jet fuel. However, according to the National Research Council, if the public experienced an acute exposure, side effects can range from headaches, vomiting, issues with memory, and even behavioral changes.
Although the situation was handled and there were no casualties or major injuries, the crew of Delta flight 89 are being investigated for their decisions. According to Captain John M. Cox, a former US Airways captain who owns an aviation safety consulting company, fuel dumping occurs to reduce a plane’s weight during unexpected landings and that most extra fuel is burned off during the flight. Aviators and professionals are puzzled because not only did the crew fail to inform air traffic control, but they dumped the fuel over a highly populated area, which could have been avoided through effective communication.
by Chelsea Lee