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U.S. testing of lithium batteries alarms aviation officials

Washington, D.C. - International aviation officials are trying to quickly come up with safer packaging for cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries on passenger planes after U.S. testing confirmed that aircraft fire suppression systems can't prevent overheated batteries from causing powerful explosions and fires.


May 5, 2015
By The Associated Press

The hazardous cargo committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency, met this week in Montreal. Officials familiar with the discussions said the panel heard a detailed presentation by aircraft manufacturers and pilot unions on the potential for the batteries to cause an explosion and resulting fire capable of destroying a plane.

The committee agreed to create a special working group to try to come up with packaging for batteries that would contain any fire or explosive gases to the inside of the package, officials said. If the working group cannot come up with such packaging, officials said they consider it likely that a formal proposal to ban bulk battery shipments from passenger planes will be offered at an ICAO meeting on dangerous cargo in October. | READ MORE