Boeing 787 catches fire at gate at Boston airport

BOSTON Mon Jan 7, 2013 12:49pm EST

BOSTON (Reuters) - A parked Boeing Co (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner aircraft with no passengers on board caught fire at Boston's Logan International Airport while parked at a gate on Monday morning, an airport spokesman said.

The fire, on an aircraft operated by Japan Airlines Co Ltd (9201.T), was reported at about 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT), said airport spokesman Richard Walsh.

The fire, which started in a compartment with batteries and other electrical components in the underbelly of the plane, was discovered by a mechanic doing a post-flight inspection of the aircraft, the Boston Fire Department said on its official Twitter feed.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Walsh said. No injuries were reported.

A Boeing spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to Japan Airlines. Japan Airlines representatives did not immediately respond to a call for a comment.

The 787 has suffered a string of mishaps with electrical systems in recent weeks. On December 4, a United Airlines (UAL.N) flight from Houston to Newark, New Jersey, made an emergency landing after it appeared that one of its power generators failed. On December 13, Qatar Airways said it had grounded one of its three 787 jets because of the same problem United had experienced. On December 17, United said that a second 787 in its fleet had developed electrical issues.

The 787 relies heavily on electrical power to drive onboard systems that in other jet models are run by air pressure generated by the engines. The 787 also suffered electrical problems during testing that prompted a redesign. (Additional reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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