Without Answers, 787 Probe Could Stretch Into 'Weeks'

Safety systems 'did not work as intended,' says NTSB official
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2013 12:17 PM CST
Updated Jan 25, 2013 1:08 PM CST
The burnt blue casing that contained a total of 8 battery cells from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that caught fire at in Boston on Jan. 7 is seen on a cart at the NTSB lab in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – The bad news keeps coming for Boeing, whose 787 Dreamliner fleet remains grounded—US investigators still don't know what caused the battery fire in a Jan. 7 fire in Boston, reports Reuters. The National Transportation Safety Board says it has found a series of "symptoms" in the battery, but are nowhere near knowing the underlying cause. The NTSB chair would not say how long the investigation might take, but a former NTSB chair predicts, "It's going to take them longer. Weeks, not days."

Investigators are concerned that back-up protections designed to prevent a "thermal runaway"—a chain reaction causing the battery to overheat—did not work, reports the Los Angeles Times. "There are multiple systems to protect against a battery event like this," says the current NTSB chair. "Those systems did not work as intended." (Read more National Transportation Safety Board stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
31%
26%
26%
6%
6%
6%