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Lufthansa assessing damage to A340 after tug fire

Lufthansa is still assessing the damage to the Airbus A340-300 caught up in a ground tractor fire at Frankfurt Main airport.

The aircraft suffered smoke contamination of its forward fuselage but images from the scene also indicate that its nose skin was breached during the blaze – with the strong possibility that smoke entered the cockpit and cabin.

"There is no confirmation on the damage itself," says Lufthansa. "There's currently an assessment of the situation and it will take some days."

German air accident investigation authority BFU is not probing the accident, because the aircraft was not engaged in any air transport operation at the time.

Lufthansa confirms, however, that the tow-tractor involved was a diesel-powered vehicle and not one of the new electric 'eTug' tractors put into operation at Frankfurt.

Ground-handling firm Lufthansa LEOS, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik, recently put a second 'eTug' into service at the hub.

The vehicle, developed by Sweden's Kalmar Motor and fitted with lithium-ion batteries, is able to tow long-haul types including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 and is designed to cut emissions by 75% compared with a conventional tractor.

LEOS began using the vehicle at Frankfurt in 2016 and provided feedback to improve the tractor before taking the second.

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