JAL Boeing Dreamliner catches fire in Boston

Boeing Dreamliner

Shares in Japan Airlines rose on Tuesday despite a fire on one of its new Boeing Dreamliners in the US, with investors relieved that the finger of blame was pointing away from the carrier, brokers said.

No one was hurt in the incident, which the airline said happened after all 183 people on board had disembarked in Boston following a flight from Tokyo.

But the blaze is the latest bad news for manufacturer Boeing, which has seen its flagship fuel-efficient Dreamliner hit by a series of setbacks and malfunctions.

The plane was being readied at a gate for a noon departure yesterday after arriving at Logan Airport in Boston from Tokyo at 10.00 am (1500 GMT), when smoke was found in the rear cabin.

"The fire department was called and the fire was extinguished," a JAL statement said.

"The smoke was traced to a fire from the battery used for the auxiliary power unit (APU) which was situated in an electrical room at the aft section of the aircraft."

It said 172 passengers, including one infant, had been aboard the plane, along with three cockpit crew and eight cabin crew. They had all disembarked before the fire was detected.

"We're aware of the situation and we're working with the airline to understand more about it right now," Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said.

In an emailed statement, the National Transportation Safety Board said they had not opened a formal investigation, despite earlier reports they had announced one on their Twitter feed.

"We have sent an investigator to Boston to look at the aircraft firsthand and report back to NTSB to discuss possible future investigative options," the statement said.

The Dreamliner was touted as the great new hope for US manufacturer Boeing, which says its next-generation composite fiber body reduces weight and boosts fuel efficiency.

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