Heathrow 787 Fire: Batteries Not Involved
Heathrow Airport near London has reopened after a fire in a parked Boeing 787 prompted closure of the airport Friday. The blaze broke out in an Ethiopian Airways Dreamliner that was parked in a remote area of the ramp but the fire does not appear to be related to the batteries that caused the grounding of 787s for months earlier this year. Officials have not said the cause of the fire but have described it as an "internal" blaze. Photos from the scene show all the main cabin doors open along with an access door near the tail of the aircraft after firefighters used foam to quell the fire. The fire burned through the carbon fiber skin on the fuselage just in front of the vertical stabilizer. The batteries are forward of that in a bay under the floor. There was no one on the plane at the time.
This 787 was the first to return to revenue service after a months-long grounding of the type due to two battery fires on 787s earlier this year. The fleet resumed airline operations after Boeing came up with an FAA-approved fix that involved isolating the batteries in case they caught fire. The batteries are now in fireproof enclosures that are vented to the outside to eliminate fire fumes from the cabin. Although there has been no connection made between the battery issue and this fire, Boeing shares nevertheless dropped by more than 5 percent when word of the fire reached the markets.