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US investigating why Delta jet dumped fuel that doused schoolkids

The FAA says procedures call for dumping fuel over unpopulated areas. The incident doused dozens of schoolchildren near Los Angeles in a smelly vapor.

U.S. authorities plan to investigate why a Delta airliner with engine trouble dumped jet fuel over a densely populated area near Los Angeles while making an emergency return. 

It doused dozens of schoolchildren and adults in a smelly vapor. Emergency officials said all of the injuries were minor and nobody was transported to the hospital.  

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. 

RELATED: Delta flight returning to LAX dumps fuel on schools

But an aerospace consultant says the pilot can deviate from those rules for safety reasons. 

Credit: AP
Firefighters allow parents into Park Avenue Elementary School where multiple people were treated for jet fuel exposure in Cudahy, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

All the affected schools were cleaned and reopened Wednesday.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Delta said it shared "concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at a school in the area.” 

Credit: AP
In this image from video, Delta Air Lines Flight 89 to Shanghai, China dumps fuel over Los Angeles before returning to Los Angeles International Airport for an emergency landing Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.