James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Moment plane showers fuel over Los Angeles school pupils
15 January 2020, 09:59
A passenger jet dumped fuel over schools in the US as it made an emergency return to Los Angeles International airport.
Fifty-six children and adults were checked for minor skin and lung irritation caused after the plane emptied its fuel tanks over the schools' grounds as it returned to the airport.
The plane landed safely after being forced to return due to an engine issue.
Aviation rules say fuel must only be dumped over designated areas and from high altitude.
Two classes of children were playing outside their school in Cudahy, around 16m east of the airport when the fuel was dumped.
Elizabeth Alcantar, mayor of Cudahy, told the LA Times: "I'm very upset. This is an elementary school, these are small children."
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said: "The FAA is thoroughly investigating the circumstances behind this incident. There are special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of any major US airport.
"These procedures call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomises and disperses before it reaches the ground."