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Boeing 787 grounded after fresh battery problem

Japan Airlines yesterday grounded one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners after gas was discovered coming out of a battery on a plane parked in Tokyo.

The incident has raised concerns about the 787’s safety and reliability and is a reminder of the battery faults that grounded flights for three months last year.

Boeing confirmed the incident happened during routine maintenance. No passengers were on board at the time.

The company said early investigations showed that a single battery cell had released gases, and the warning system had operated as planned.

Japan Airlines said maintenance engineers who were in the cockpit saw white smoke outside the plane. They saw warning lights indicating possible faults with the main battery and charger. When they checked the battery they found one of eight cells was leaking a liquid.

Japan Airlines confirmed that the plane, due to depart from Tokyo Narita Airport for Bangkok, was taken out of service and all passengers due to board were placed on a separate 787.

In January last year all 50 Dreamliner aircraft were grounded due to a series of incidents involving the faulty lithium-ion battery system used on the aircraft that caused problems in two different planes operated by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines.

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