NTSB Investigating Cause of 787 Battery Fire

Looking into the causes of the battery explosion.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787

A fire broke out aboard an empty Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Boston Logan Airport on Monday after the battery powering the Japan Airlines jet’s auxiliary power unit exploded as the jet sat at the gate.

A firefighter suffered minor burns controlling the small fire, which caused heavy smoke in the cabin. The flight had arrived from Tokyo at 10 a.m. and was being prepared for a noon departure when a maintenance worker noticed the smoke and called emergency crews.

Batteries used to start the APU are located in the avionics bay in the belly of the 787. In a press release, Japan Airlines confirmed the cause of the fire was a battery explosion. The airline said 172 passengers and 11 crew members had been on the airplane just before the fire started.

The FAA and NTSB are looking into precisely what caused the fire, which came just weeks after Boeing endured a string of other electrical problems that briefly grounded three 787s. The Dreamliner also has suffered an engine failure and fuel leaks in the 14 months it has been in service.