Delta Air Lines sued over LA school fuel dump: Report

US air carrier is accused of negligence

A group of teachers in Los Angeles filed suit against Delta Air Lines on Friday, accusing the airline of negligence after dozens were injured when one of the carrier’s pilots dumped fuel on several elementary schools.

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The dispute stems from an incident earlier this week involving Shanghai-bound Delta Air Lines Flight 89, which was forced to make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport due to an engine issue. The lawsuit alleges that the Delta pilot initially told air traffic control there was no need to dump fuel to reach a safe landing weight, according to TMZ, which was first to obtain the court documents.

Later, the pilot dumped fuel without notifying authorities and did so from an unsafe altitude, according to the lawsuit. As a result, the teachers and some students were allegedly doused in jet fuel and required medical attention.

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The teachers retained famed attorney Gloria Allred in the case, TMZ reported.

An unidentified girl covers her mouth as she evacuates the Park Avenue Elementary school in Cudahy, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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The Delta Air Lines flight landed safely at LAX with 181 passengers and crew on board. The Federal Aviation Administration said it would investigate the incident and the circumstances behind the fuel dump.

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“There are special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of any major U.S. airport," the FAA said in a statement. “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."

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Emergency responders treated about 60 people, including schoolchildren, for minor injuries, according to multiple reports.

"The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight,” Delta said in a statement after the incident. “We are in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the LA County Fire Department and share concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at a school in the area.”

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