Investigators probe Ethiopian plane fire at London Heathrow

Updated 14 July 2013
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Investigators probe Ethiopian plane fire at London Heathrow

LONDON: Investigators were on Saturday searching for the cause of the fire onboard a 787 Dreamliner parked at London’s Heathrow Airport.
A team from Britain’s Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) was deployed following the blaze on Friday afternoon on the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which was fortunately empty at the time.
“The aircraft was moved to a secure hangar early this morning. The investigation is ongoing,” a spokesman for the AAIB, an agency of the Department of Transport, told AFP.
Television pictures showed burn marks on the top of the plane near the back, just in front of the vertical stabilizer.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it had also sent an official to support the work of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Britain.
A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines said it was investigating the incident but had no plans to ground its fleet of four 787 Dreamliners.
“Ethiopia’s Dreamliners will continue to fly,” Hailu Teklehaimanot told AFP in Addis Ababa.
“The incident at Heathrow is not being treated as flight related as the incident happened after being grounded for eight hours.”
The fire is a blow for Boeing, which had to temporarily withdraw the Dreamliner from service earlier this year after concerns that batteries on board could cause fires.
Heathrow shut down for 90 minutes after the incident, and the world’s busiest international passenger air hub was still reporting knock-on delays on Saturday.
“The airport is fully operational but with some flight delays and cancelations,” Heathrow said in a statement.
A spokeswoman told AFP that about 40 flights had been canceled throughout the day, largely due to aircraft being out of place, but said delays to other flights were “minimal.”
In a separate incident on Friday, another Dreamliner flying from Manchester to Florida was forced to turn back after experiencing a “technical issue” after take-off.
It was operated by Thomson Airways, which had only three days earlier become the first British airline to fly the plane.
The airline stressed the diversion was a “precautionary measures,” adding: “Passengers have disembarked and our dedicated team of engineers are now inspecting the aircraft.”


Former US VP Biden announces 2020 run for White House

Updated 25 April 2019
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Former US VP Biden announces 2020 run for White House

  • Biden joins an already crowded list of presidential candidates running from the Democratic party
  • He served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president

WASHINGTON: Former US Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday he is entering the 2020 White House race, joining an already crowded list of candidates running on the Democratic Party platform.
In a tweet accompanied by a three-and-a-half minute video, Biden said he couldn’t stand idly by while US President Donald Trump “fundamentally altered the character of this nation.”
“The core values of this nation... our standing in the world... our very democracy... everything that has made America — America — is at stake,” he wrote in the post.
“That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
Even before his official announcement, Biden, who served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, led most surveys of Democratic voters.
The RealClearPolitics poll aggregate puts him as favorite with 29.3 percent support, followed by independent Senator Bernie Sanders at 23 percent.