The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released an update on its formal investigation of Monday’s fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston. There were no passengers or crew on board at the time. One firefighter received minor injuries. Boeing had issued an initial statement saying that JAL reported that smoke detected while the 787 was on the ground during cleaning was traced to the battery used to start the auxiliary power unit (APU). Initial NTSB investigative findings include:
The NTSB investigator on scene found that the auxiliary power unit battery had severe fire damage. Thermal damage to the surrounding structure and components is confined to the area immediately near the APU battery rack (within about 20 inches) in the aft electronics bay.
Preliminary reports from Japan Airlines representatives indicate that airplane maintenance and cleaning personnel were on the airplane with the APU in operation just prior to the detection of smoke in the cabin and that Boston Logan Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting were contacted.
Rescue and fire personnel and equipment responded to the airplane and detected a fire in the electronics and equipment bay near the APU battery box. Initial reports indicate that the fire was extinguished about 40 minutes after arrival of the first rescue and fire personnel.
Further investigative updates will be issued as events warrant.
Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation Administration and The Boeing Company. In addition, the Japan Transport Safety Board has appointed an accredited representative and Japan Airlines will assist the JTSB as technical advisors.