Delta Airlines flight dumps fuel on Los Angeles school during in-flight emergency

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it's launched a 'thorough' investigation into an aircraft dumping fuel onto a primary school in Los Angeles.

Emergency crews responded to the Cudahy school on Wednesday morning (NZT) after aviation fuel fell onto the playground from an airliner passing overhead.

Delta Airlines flight 89 had taken off from LAX and was just minutes into its flight to Shanghai before its crew decided to return to the airport due to a technical issue.

"There are special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of any major US airport," the FAA said. 

"These procedures call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomizes and disperses before it reaches the ground."

The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed "multiple patients" were assessed at the school.

Video posted on social media by Matt Harman appears to show the aircraft dumping fuel while on approach to the airport.

"This just flew over me," Harman said.

The flight turned back to Los Angeles just minutes into its flight to China.
The flight turned back to Los Angeles just minutes into its flight to China. Photo credit:

Local news stations broadcast footage of children and adults being treated by paramedics and a cordon being set up around the entrance to the school, with around 12 fire trucks at the scene.

The aircraft itself landed safely back at LAX just before 9am NZT.

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