Four teachers from a Los Angeles-area school sued Delta Air Lines, saying they were exposed to jet fuel when a plane with engine trouble dumped its fuel while making an emergency return to the airport.
The teachers described the fuel as drizzling down like raindrops with “overwhelming” fumes.
Officials have said nearly 60 schoolchildren and teachers were exposed to the vapor Tuesday, examined for minor skin and lung irritations, and told to wash with soap and water.
Also Friday, an agency that monitors air pollution issued a violation to Delta for the fuel dump. The Delta Air Lines flight to Shanghai turned back to Los Angeles International Airport only minutes after taking off Tuesday.
The pilot reported a stalled engine compressor, which can reduce thrust or even lead to a fire. The Federal Aviation Administration says procedures call for dumping fuel over unpopulated areas. But an aerospace consultant says the pilot can deviate from those rules for safety reasons.
Delta declined to comment on the pending litigation.