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Boeing 787 battery fire was difficult to control

Photos of the scorched battery cells
The new NTSB report includes photos of the scorched battery cells.NTSB

An investigation of a battery fire aboard a Boeing 787 shows mechanics and firefighters made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to put out the blaze through smoke so thick they couldn't see the battery.

The documents released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board paint a more dangerous picture of the Jan. 7 fire than previously portrayed.

The Japan Airlines plane had just landed after an overseas flight. It was parked at Boston's Logan International Airport when a cleaning crew smelled smoke. The 184 passengers had departed the plane six minutes earlier, and the 11-member flight crew had departed one minute earlier.

Fire fighters used thermal-imaging cameras to locate the hissing battery with flammable liquid flowing down its sides in the intense smoke. It appeared as a white glow radiating heat waves.

787 battery box extrusion.
A closeup image of the 787 battery box showing a extruding element.NTSB