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An internal fire broke out on Friday on a Boeing 787 that Ethiopian Airlines had parked between flights at London’s Heathrow Airport, the airport said.
The plane was in a remote area, and no passengers were on board. But a Heathrow spokesman said the airport temporarily suspended arrivals and departures for all other flights while fire crews responded to the incident.
Boeing said it was aware of the problem, but neither the airport nor Boeing provided any information about the cause of the fire.
Fire-retardant foam appeared to have been sprayed.
News photos appeared to show damage on the outside top of the upper fuselage, just in front of the tail.
Based on that location, aviation analyst Scott Hamilton said the fire doesn’t appear to be related to battery malfunction.
Hamilton said he suspects the fire wasn’t caused by a faulty battery, which is down in the cargo bay area of the plane.
“What it doesn’t look like is that it’s a battery, and that’s the important part,” said Hamilton, an aviation analyst at Leeham News in Issaquah. With all the issues that have plagued the 787 Dreamliner recently, if it were battery-related, “that would almost certainly put the plane back on the ground again.”