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FAA grounds Boeing 787s to address battery fires

Published On: Jan 16 2013 02:42:50 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 06:08:06 PM CST
787 Dreamliner

Kevin Taverner/CNN

SEATTLE -

Federal officials say they are temporarily grounding Boeing's 787 Dreamliners until the risk of possible battery fires is addressed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it will issue an emergency safety order requiring airlines to temporarily cease operating the 787, Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced plane.

The agency said it will work with Boeing and U.S. air carriers to develop a plan allowing 787s to "resume operations as quickly and safely as possible." United Airlines is the only U.S. carrier with 787s. It has six.

Only days ago, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared the plane safe.

But after an emergency landing in Japan early Wednesday, two Japanese airlines voluntarily grounded their 787s.

In the latest incident involving a 787, All Nippon Airways says the plane's main battery had burn marks around it, and its flammable liquid had leaked. The battery is below the cockpit. Pilots made an emergency landing after smelling something burning, and after a cockpit message showed battery problems.

Last week a battery burned on a Japan Airlines plane parked in Boston.

The two Japanese airlines together fly 24 of the 50 787s Boeing has delivered to customers.

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