Japan Airlines 787 leaks fuel at Boston airport

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

KING5.com

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 8 at 7:23 PM

SEATTLE – On Tuesday morning in Boston, Japan Air Lines flight 7, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner,  spilled 40 gallons of fuel onto a taxiway before it could take off.  Maintenance crews at Logan International Airport quickly cleaned it up.  

KING 5 news has learned the problem involved a leaking refueling valve in the wing,  and the problem was fixed and the plane continued onto Tokyo.

On Monday, the problem was much bigger. JAL flight 8, another 787 inbound from Tokyo to Boston, caught fire 15 minutes after the passengers and crew got off.
    
On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board was busy inspecting the rear electrical bay behind the wing, where the lithium ion battery involved in yesterday’s fire was stored.  A photo released by the safety agency showed investigator Robert Swaim inspecting the area,  showing fairly limited smoke damage to the floor where the battery is secured, and nearby electrical racks holding other equipment.   When firefighters arrived on the scene Monday, smoke could be seen pouring out of the rear baggage hold door.
   
But the NTSB says the battery, which works in conjunction with the auxiliary power unit, which keeps the planes electrical system functioning while at the gate, was severely damaged.
   
The NTSB is now sending in additional investigators to look at “airworthiness and fire and emergency response.”  

Boeing has a small team, and the Japan Transport Safety Board has a representative.  The cause of the fire has not been determined, but right now the battery is where the investigation is focused.

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