NTSB investigates 787 battery failure in Boston

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US federal investigatos have dispateched a team to Boston to scrutinise what caused a battery compartment in a Japan Air Lines Boeing 787 to over-heat on ground early today.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is gathering facts about the incident at Bost Logan International Airport before it decides the "extent" of its investigation.

The airport authority has said that a compartment containing batteries supplying power to the auxiliary power unit on the ground over-heated, then exploded. Both airport and city fire crews responded to the fire.

Japan Air Lines has grounded that particular aircraft as the airline and Boeing investigation continues.

The 787 is among the first aircraft to use lithium-ion batteries to supply power to major systems.

The NTSB previously investigated the contained failure of a General Electric GEnx-1B engine on board an Air India 787 during taxi tests in July on the runway at North Charleston, South Carolina.

GE determined the engine failed because a coating allowed the fan midshaft to corrode rapidly under certain conditions.

Since that incident, the 787's electrical systems have come under heavy scrutiny, with United Airlines and Qatar Airways forced to ground aircraft temporarily because of a glitch in the power distribution system.