Bulk Lithium Battery Shipments Could Cause Airplane Fires

New video exposes the potential risk that the batteries pose to passenger planes.
1:51 | 12/03/14

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Transcript for Bulk Lithium Battery Shipments Could Cause Airplane Fires
death of Gardner is expected this morning. Thank you very much. And scary new video showing the risk to passenger planes from the lithium batteries that power so many device S. Jim Avila has the story. Reporter: The FAA says that explosive new video is showing a new look at the way laptops and other devices are transported aboard passenger planes. This video could change FAA rules about the batteries behind digital revolution. This cargo hold filled with 5,000 lithium ion batteries for a simple test. They simulate overheating just one battery inside. And within 45 minutes, a chain reaction. Nearby batteries inside catch fire. And the smoking container explodes. Temperatures in the cargo hold reach 1100 degrees. All lithium ion batteries have some risk of this phenomenon of thermal runaway. Reporter: In fact the pilot union said shipment of lithium batteries on aircraft is the most pressing hazmat issue that the aviation community needs to address. The batteries, more than 7 billion of which, are made each year are popular because they are lightweight. But shown to be vulnerable to overhe overheating. This laptop battery seemed to spontaneously come bust in a terminal. Thousands are carried in the cargo holds of the passenger planes. While there are fire suppression systems onboard, a similar test showed they didn't prevent an explosion, but delayed it.

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