Heathrow Airport shuts down as Ethiopian Airlines’ Dreamliner catches fire

Ethiopian_Boeing787Operations at UK’s Heathrow Airport has come to a temporary halt as Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft caught fire at the airport, according to officials.

“Arrivals and departures are temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attend to this incident,” Heathrow said on its website July 12, 2013 confirming “there has been an on-board internal fire involving an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft”.

A Heathrow spokesperson says the airport’s emergency services are in attendance to bring the situation under control.

According to airport officials, the aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand and thus “there were no passengers on board and there are no reported injuries at this time”.

Heathrow expalains the suspension of arrivals and departures which are temporal. It says “This is a standard procedure if fire crews are occupied with an incident.”

An update on the situation, Heathrow said is that its runways are beginning to re-open.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft was recently grounded globally following incidents of overheating in the batteries providing auxiliary power.

Ethiopian grounded its Dreamliners on January 17, 2013, following directives issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

But Ethiopian Airlines was the first in the world to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after the grounding. Ethiopian landed the flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi Saturday April 27, 2013, the first flight since regulators grounded all Dreamliners on January 16, 2013.

By Ekow Quandzie

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