Officials to hold town hall meeting on Delta aircraft that dumped fuel over South L.A. communities

City, state and federal officials will hold a town hall meeting Friday night to give updates and hear community concerns about a jet fuel dump from a Delta jetliner making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport, raining fuel onto a series of schools.

The midday Tuesday dump of fuel by Delta Air Lines flight 89 prompted hazardous-materials responses to multiple schools in Cudahy, South Gate and South Los Angeles. Nobody was hospitalized, but dozens of students and adults were treated for skin irritation and respiratory issues resulting from the falling fuel.
   Friday's town hall meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Clara Park, 4835 Clara St. in Cudahy.

Representatives from the cities of Cudahy, South Gate and Downey are expected to attend, along with Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, County Supervisor Hilda Solis and officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District and County Fire Department, according to organizers. 

Los Angeles County Fire Department crews responded shortly after noon Tuesday to Park Avenue Elementary School in the 8000 block of Park Avenue in Cudahy, where students and staff complained of skin irritation or respiratory problems.

Fire officials said 20 children and 11 adults at the campus were treated at the campus, but none required hospitalization.

According to the county fire department, it also tended to six people affected by the fuel at Tweedy Elementary in South Gate, one adult patient at Graham Elementary in the Florence area and six patients at San Gabriel Elementary in South Gate. None had to be transported.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to complaints of irritation from the fuel at Jordan High School near Watts and 93rd Street Elementary School in South Los Angeles.

According to the LAFD, a total of 16 patients were assessed, but none required a trip to the hospital.

The Downey Fire Department responded to Gallatin Pre-School and evaluated seven patients with minor injuries. None were taken to a hospital, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Delta flight 89 -- a Boeing 777 -- left LAX at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday bound for Shanghai with 181 people on board. According to Delta, the plane "experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return to LAX. The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight."

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement saying it is "thoroughly investigating" the circumstances of the fuel dump.

"There are special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of any major U.S. airport,'' according to the FAA. ``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."

In its statement, Delta said airline officials "are in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the L.A. County Fire Department and share concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at a school in the area."

LAX officials issued a statement saying they "are concerned about reports of impacts on the ground from the fuel release, and are in close communication with Delta and first responders as their investigations continue."

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health advised people affected by the fuel to wash their contaminated clothing separately with regular detergent and to wash their entire body with soap and water.

If odors remain on clothing after they are washed, they should be discarded. Symptoms such as skin irritation and upper respiratory irritation should improve on their own, according to the Department of Public Health.