Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Delta Airlines Plane Douses Schoolchildren with Fuel
EDM Wednesday Briefing: Delta Airlines Plane Douses Schoolchildren with Fuel

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Delta Airlines Plane Douses Schoolchildren with Fuel


Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 15, 2020: Schoolchildren were doused with jet fuel as a Delta Airlines plane dumped fuel in preparation of an emergency landing; The WHO cautions that the mystery coronavirus from China could spread worldwide; residents flee as thick ash coats towns near the erupting Taal Volcano; two people are in custody after a student was shot to death in a Houston area school; the NWS issued a flash flood emergency for Jackson, Mississippi, as authorities warn residents of an imminent dam failure; an ice jam has caused flooding along the Mississippi River in Anoka, Minnesota; a chemical plant explosion in Spain has killed two and injured at least nine others; and a strong microburst caused a partial roof and wall to collapse at a school in North Carolina.

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1) First responders in Los Angeles, California, treated more than 50 people for exposure to jet fuel, the majority of them children at Los Angeles area schools. Delta Airlines Flight #89, bound for Shanghai, China, declared an emergency due to an engine issue shortly after takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and requested an emergency landing. Per normal procedures, the aircraft had to dump fuel to reach a safe landing weight, and the release doused Cudahy area schools with jet fuel.

2) The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that a new coronavirus originating in China could spread worldwide. A woman from China has been quarantined in Taiwan with a mystery strain of coronavirus, and WHO is concerned the virus -- which appears to have limited human-to-human transmission -- may spread beyond China. The virus appears to be from a new strain of coronavirus originating in China, which has resulted in pneumonia for 41 people, one of whom has reportedly died.

3) Thick ash fall from the Taal Volcano has coated towns in the Batangas and Cavite provinces in the Philippines as more than 40,000 people evacuated ahead of a potentially imminent violent explosion. Volcanologists warn that a more explosive eruption, one that spews rocks and magma and has the potential to set off a tsunami, is very likely. The thick ash fall has damaged crops and sent clouds of ash 62 miles away to Manila, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

4) A student was shot to death just after seventh period at a school in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, and the suspect fled. Police later reported that a suspect, along with a second person, had been arrested in connection with the shooting, although none of those involved have been identified. The incident occurred at Bellaire High School, and the Houston Independent School District announced that classes were cancelled for Wednesday.

5) The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood emergency for areas of Mississippi on Tuesday after heavy rainfall led to swollen rivers that threatened to overtop dams. First responders in the Jackson area were involved in multiple swift water rescues, and according to officials, the Oktibbeha County Lake Dam reportedly was in imminent danger of failing. The county emergency management director noted that the dam, located near Starkville, is in need of repair, but funding has been an obstacle for several years.

6) High water forecasts and flooding are concerns all along the Mississippi River after recent severe weather and heavy rainfall. An ice jam in Coon Rapids led to flooding along the Mississippi River in Anoka, Minnesota, on Monday, where the river surged eight feet in just 24 hours. The flooding prompted the closure of a highway and several parks, as officials monitored the unpredictable ice jam for further developments.

7) An explosion at a Spanish chemical plant killed at least two people and injured nine others -- two of whom suffered major burns -- on Tuesday evening. The incident occurred in the port city of Tarragona in northeastern Spain at the Industrias Químicas del Óxido de Etilano plant. The facility is known as ChemMed, a 2,965-acre chemical hub -- the largest of its kind in Europe. According to authorities, the blast was caused by a chemical accident and set off a massive fire that took firefighters until Wednesday to control.

8) A strong storm produced a microburst that caused the roof of a gym at a North Carolina school to partially collapse on Monday. A portion of the roof, the stage and a wall of the gymnasium at Union Intermediate School in Sampson County partially collapsed, sending students fleeing to safety as bricks and glass flew through the air. There were 21 students attending P.E. at the time of the collapse; three of those students were injured in the collapse and transported to the hospital.


Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.