News Column

Heathrow Runways Open Again After Dreamliner Fire

July 12, 2013

Runways at London's Heathrow airport reopened on Friday after a fire on board an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, an airport spokeswoman said.

"The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand and there were no passengers on board," she added. The runways were shut for around an hour and a half.

Footage showed the jet surrounded by fire engines. There appeared to be damage to the top of the plane's fuselage, just in front of the tail fin.

"We're aware of the 787 event @HeathrowAirport and have Boeing personnel there," said Boeing in a Tweet. "We're working to fully understand and address this."

Nobody was on board the plane at the time of the fire, according to a police spokesman. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

Stock markets reacted promptly to the fire, with Boeing stock dropping by almost 7 per cent in New York.

Regulators grounded the Dreamliner for three months earlier this year after batteries on two aircraft began smoking. Boeing later redesigned the batteries and the planes were cleared to fly again.

The plane entered service in 2011 after years of delays. The high-technology widebody twinjet uses large amounts of composite materials instead of metal in its structure to reduce weight.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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