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The Boston Globe

Business

Boeing probe focuses on lithium-ion batteries

NEW YORK — Powerful and lightweight, lithium-ion batteries are the perfect power source for modern gadgets. But ubiquitous as they are, their short history has also been fraught with problems. They have caught fire in cellphones, laptop computers, and electric cars, and have even destroyed a small Navy submarine.

Now, federal investigators are trying to determine why a lithium-ion battery caught fire in Boeing’s long-awaited 787 Dreamliner last week, and they have grounded the planes until they figure it out.

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