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Fire Breaks Out In Parked Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner At Logan Airport

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BOSTON (CBS) – Firefighters were called to Logan Airport Monday morning after smoke was reported in a parked Japan Airlines plane.

The FAA told WBZ-TV the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Tokyo was at a gate at the international terminal when a cleaning crew discovered the smoke on the plane around 10:40 a.m.

Gallery: Images From JAL Fire Response

According to Tweets from the Boston Fire Department, the fire was in “a compartment with batteries and other electrical components.”

There were no crew or passengers on board at the time and no one was hurt. During the flight, 173 passengers and 11 crew members were on the plane.

“I didn’t smell anything, I didn’t know anything,” one passenger told WBZ.

Another passenger said he didn’t smell anything but said the incident was “so scary.”

The plane had landed a short time earlier and a mechanic was doing a walk through when he “noticed a light smoke condition increasing from the underbelly of the plane,” BFD tweeted.  The mechanic then notified Massport’s fire department.

There did not appear to be any major damage to the jet from the outside.  Massport crews vented smoke from a door at the bottom of the plane.

The NTSB is sending investigators to Logan to look into the incident.

Japan Airlines said Monday afternoon that they are investigating the incident and are working to find alternate flights for passengers who were booked on a later flight from Boston to Tokyo.

Japan Airlines launched the first non-stop service from Logan to Tokyo’s Narita Airport using the new Boeing 787 back in April.

Peter Genovese is the president of Japan Electron Optic Labs, a Tokyo-based company whose North American headquarters are based in Peabody. He and his employees fly back and forth to Japan as much as 150 times a year – and recently, they’ve flown on the Dreamliner. However, they have found the aircraft to be increasingly unreliable.

“We need to count on it,” Genovese explains. “If you can’t count on getting there, that hurts our business. One day may cost us millions of dollars.”

Genovese himself has flown the 787 from Logan to Tokyo. He says it is every bit as comfortable and luxurious as it’s made out to be. But ultimately, he says, if the plane can’t get him there in time for his meetings, it doesn’t matter how posh the ride is.

“We have to have confidence in the product, just like customers have to have confidence in our products,” he says.

Patrick Smith is a Boston-based commercial airline pilot who has flown the 787 as a passenger. He’s written about it on his blog: http://www.askthepilot.com/

“I think what happened today was a relatively minor thing in the grand scheme of things,” Smith says. “But people wonder and they ask questions, and that’s understandable. Whether what happened at Logan has anything to do with that it’s really not known. This could be just some random, sporadic thing that has nothing to do with the plane being new.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong and Christina Hager contributed to this report.

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