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Double trouble for Boeing in London

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th July 2013 01:36 AM

A 787 Dreamliner caught fire at London''s Heathrow airport while a "technical issue" forced a second to return to a different British airport, in the latest calamities for Boeing''s troubled jet.

Double trouble for Boeing in London

A 787 Dreamliner caught fire at London''s Heathrow airport while a "technical issue" forced a second to return to a different British airport, in the latest calamities for Boeing''s troubled jet.

LONDON (AFP) -Boeing stocks plunged nearly 5 percent on Friday after a fire and a "technical issue" on separate 787 Dreamliners in Britain stoked fresh safety concerns about the new high-tech jetliner.

Dow member Boeing's shares closed 4.7 percent lower at $101.87 in New York, clawing back from a dive of more than 7 percent.
 
Investor confidence was hammered after a Boeing 787 owned by Ethiopian Airlines caught fire while parked at London's Heathrow airport on Friday while a "technical issue" forced a second to return to a different British airport, in the latest calamities for Boeing's troubled jet.
 
Boeing temporarily withdrew the Dreamliner from service earlier this year after concerns that batteries on board could cause fires, but has rolled out modifications it said would ensure they were safe.
 
The fire on the parked Ethiopian Airlines plane forced Heathrow to shut down for 90 minutes Friday but caused no injuries.
 
A Boeing spokesman said the US firm had personnel on the ground at Heathrow and was "working to fully understand and address this".
 
In a separate incident, engineers were inspecting a Florida-bound Thomson Airways Dreamliner which had to return to Manchester Airport in northwest England after take-off.
 
A Heathrow spokeswoman said the Ethiopian Airlines plane was empty when the blaze was reported at around 1530 GMT.
 
Television images showed the Dreamliner surrounded by pools of foam, with three fire engines on the scene.
 
"Emergency services are currently dealing with the incident," the Heathrow spokeswoman told AFP. "No one was on board so there were no casualties."
 
The west London hub -- one of the busiest airports in the world -- announced at 1700 GMT that services were resuming, but warned passengers to expect delays.
 
Meanwhile, Britain's Thomson Airways said its Boeing 787 had landed safely at Manchester after experiencing a "technical issue" after take-off.
 
"Thomson Airways can confirm that flight TOM126 travelling from Manchester to Sanford, Florida, experienced a technical issue and the aircraft returned to Manchester Airport, as a precautionary measure," the airline said in a statement.
 
"Passengers have disembarked and our dedicated team of engineers are now inspecting the aircraft."
 
A spokesman for Manchester Airport confirmed that the plane was a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and said it had landed safely at around 1640 GMT.
 
A global grounding order on the Dreamliner was issued in January after lithium-ion batteries overheated on two different jets, with one of them catching fire while the aircraft was parked.
 
Boeing has not been able to identify the root cause of the problems -- a source of major embarrassment to the aviation giant -- but said its modifications would prevent the problems reoccurring.
 
In April, an Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner -- reported to be the same plane that caught fire at Heathrow -- flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on the first commercial flight since the grounding.
 
But the next-generation jet has continued to be dogged by problems, with a string of flights worldwide cancelled or diverted because of mechanical issues.
 
A United Airlines Dreamliner flight from London to Houston, Texas was cancelled on Tuesday because of an apparent problem with an indicator.
 
The US Federal Aviation Administration said it was aware of the Heathrow fire. "We are in contact with Boeing as they assess the incident," a spokeswoman said.
 

Double trouble for Boeing in London

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