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The Boston Globe


No cause yet in Boeing 787 battery fire

NTSB chair says signs of short circuit found

WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board indicated Thursday that an investigation into the failure of lithium-ion batteries aboard two Boeing 787 planes is still far from determining a cause.

Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairwoman of the board, said a battery that caught fire in a 787 parked at a gate at Logan International Airport in Boston showed signs of short-circuiting and of a ‘‘thermal runaway,’’ in which a chemical reaction begins to overheat the battery and speeds up as the temperature increases. But Hersman described these as ‘‘symptoms,’’ and pointedly declined to say whether those problems were the cause of the incident, which, combined with a similar event in Japan, has led to the grounding of all 50 of the planes in service.

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