JAL 787 suffers fire at Boston

AFP-JIJI

A smoky fire broke out aboard an empty Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner in Boston on Monday, officials said, in the latest trouble to hit the fuel-efficient Boeing passenger aircraft.

The plane was being readied at a gate for a noon departure after arriving at Logan Airport in Boston from Tokyo at 10 am, when smoke was detected in the aft cabin, apparently from a battery-related fire.

Japan Airlines said no passengers or crew members were injured in the incident.

“The fire department was called and the fire was extinguished,” a JAL statement said.

“The smoke was traced to a fire from the battery used for the auxiliary power unit (APU), which was situated in an electrical room at the aft section of the aircraft.”

It said 172 passengers, including one infant, had been aboard the plane, along with three cockpit crew and eight cabin crew. They had all disembarked before the fire was detected.

“We’re aware of the situation and we’re working with the airline to understand more about it right now,” Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it has launched an investigation into the incident.

The Dreamliner is being touted as the great new hope for U.S. manufacturer Boeing, which says its next-generation composite-fiber fuselage reduces weight and boosts fuel efficiency. But the incident at Logan Airport was only the latest in a series of glitches for the aircraft, including test engine trouble in July that was the subject of a probe by the NTSB.

On July 23, All Nippon Airways said it was grounding five 787s for repairs because of a defect in the Rolls-Royce engine.