NTSB looks to laptop batteries as possible cause of plane fire

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Donald Melanson
July 15, 2006 11:30 PM
NTSB looks to laptop batteries as possible cause of plane fire
It looks like laptop batteries are fast gaining on cellphones as the technology most likely to kill you, or at least give you a nasty, potentially embarrassing burn. Hot on the heels of Dell investigating its own case of spontaneous combustion, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now getting in on the act, looking into the possibility that laptop batteries may have started a fire on a UPS cargo plane that was forced to make an emergency landing last February. The plane's three crew members managed to escape with only minor injuries, but the fire ultimately destroyed the plane and most of the cargo on board. While the NTSB investigation hasn't pinned the blame on the batteries just yet, the FAA's has Harry Webster has testified that lithium-ion batteries can vent flammable liquid and "pose a risk to the cargo compartment." We've already seen warnings not to use your laptop on your lap -- think warnings not to travel with them are far behind?
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