An Asiana Airlines freighter carrying lithium-ion batteries crashed early Thursday en route from Inchon, South Korea, to Pudong, China, after the crew reported a fire on board.
Experts quickly zeroed in on the batteries as a possible cause. U.S. Federal Aviation Administration records point to 46 incidents of airplane fires linked to lithium-ion batteries, and has published rules for stowing them securely in flight.
News reports said the 747-400 freighter carried 58 tons of electronics, lithium- ion batteries, paint and flammable chemicals.
Officials of Asiana, Korea’s second-largest airline, said the crew reported a fire in the cargo bay to Shanghai air traffic control about an hour into the flight from Inchon.
The plane reportedly crashed about nine minutes later after it turned around and headed for an emergency landing at an airport on Jeju Island, South Korea. Rescue boats found some floating debris, but the two-man crew has not been located.
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