Panel rejects ban on air shipments of fire-prone batteries

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A U.N. aviation panel has rejected a ban on rechargeable battery shipments on passenger airliners, despite evidence they can cause unstoppable, in-flight fires.

Two aviation officials told The Associated Press the International Civil Aviation Organization panel voted 10 to 7 against a ban. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about the vote publicly.

The United States, Russia, Brazil, China and Spain, as well as organizations representing airline pilots and aircraft manufacturers, voted in favor of the ban. The Netherlands, Canada, France, Australia, Italy, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as an international airline trade association, voted against it.

U.S. government tests show small quantities of overheated batteries can cause explosions that can disable aircraft fire protection systems.

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