NEW YORK, Jan 8 – A smoky fire broke out aboard an empty Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner in Boston, 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, Massachusetts from Tokyo at 10:00 am (1500 GMT) on Monday, when smoke was found in the aft cabin.
Japan Airlines (JAL) 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 told AFP.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it has launched an investigation into the incident.
The Dreamliner was touted as the great new hope for US manufacturer Boeing, which says its next-generation composite fiber body 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 National Transportation Safety Board.
On July 23, Japan’s All Nippon Airways said it was grounding five 787 Dreamliner jets for repairs because of a defect on the Rolls-Royce engine.
In February, Boeing said around 55 Dreamliners were at risk of developing a fuselage problem.
ANA, the first company to take delivery of a Dreamliner, began offering flights on the jet in October.