NTSB investigators are looking in to whether laptop batteries burst into flames on board a UPS cargo flight in February. A fire blamed on the lithium batteries injured all three crewmembers and forced an emergency landing. Snip:
Several other incidents have occurred in recent years in which lithium batteries – used in laptops and cell phones – have caught fire aboard airplanes. Less than two months ago in Chicago, a spare laptop battery packed in a bag stored in an overhead bin started emitting smoke, chief crash investigator Frank Hilldrup of the NTSB testified Wednesday.
A flight attendant used an extinguisher and the bag was removed, but the bag caught fire on a ramp, Hilldrup said. Investigators in the Philadelphia fire found that several computer laptop batteries were on board the plane, and that in many cases portions of the laptop batteries had burned, he said.
“It is not known at this time the role these batteries may have played in the fire,” Hilldrup said.
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