Fire on Ethiopian Dreamliner forces London’s Heathrow Airport closure


The fire on the empty Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner forced Heathrow Airport to close both its runways for two hours in the afternoon of Friday July 12, suspending all arrivals and departures.
Tewolde Gebremariam CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said that smoke has been detected from the B787 aircraft with registration number ET-AOP dubbed Queen of Sheba, which was parked for more than eight hours. “The aircraft was empty when the incident occurred and it is very early to exactly know the cause of the accident,” Tewolde told Capital.
The jet was parked close to the airport terminal and was seen surrounded by several fire trucks and there appeared to be damage to the top of the plane’s fuselage.  Fire-retardant foam appeared to have been sprayed, but no damage to the plane was immediately apparent.
Earlier this year, Boeing had temporarily withdrawn Dreamliner from service for modification following concerns over possible cause of fire due to batteries overheating on board.
In April, Ethiopian Airlines for the first time resumed flights with Dreamliner passenger jets following the fix centered on a new design for the lithium-iron battery system that has many layers of safeguards to prove overheating.
Boeing claimed that the Dreamliner’s issues have been settled. Nevertheless, four incidents occurred where 787 malfunctioned in just two weeks with three United Airline jets having been forced to make unscheduled landings due to problems relating to the Dreamliner’s break indicator and oil filters and indication systems.
Only days later, a malfunctioning All Nippon Airways’ Dreamliner was grounded in Tokyo, having left more than 100 passengers stranded.