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Investigators say Boeing 787 fire at Heathrow unrelated to battery design

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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Another Boeing 787 Dreamliner caught fire yesterday, but reports indicate that unlike previous outbreaks the latest incident is unrelated to the aircraft's lithium-ion battery design. Though the fire's actual cause is still unknown, the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said on Saturday that there was no evidence that the aircraft's battery had been the source of the fire. A full investigation is expected to take several days.

The 787 had been idle on the ground for eight hours at the time of the fire, and its batteries were not believed to have been in use. According to The New York Times, no injuries or significant damage occurred as a result, and the plane's operator, Ethiopian Airlines, believes that the fire "was not related to flight safety." The airline is continuing to fly the rest of its 787 jets.

All 787s had their batteries altered earlier this year following a full grounding of the fleet, and for now it appears that the FAA-approved alterations are still standing up.