Airline Investigates Exploding Li-ion Batteries
OTTAWA, Canada – Transport Canada is investigating the air transport of potentially dangerous lithium ion batteries. This follows four incidents with problems caused by lithium ion batteries during transport.
In one of four incidents under investigation, two batteries used for e-bikes allegedly exploded in the back of a FedEx truck shortly after they were imported by plane to Canada by the Canadian company Dr. Battery, also known as Richmond International Technology Corp. This was reported by CBC News from Canada.
Incident at Toronto
Last October, Air Canada staff at international airport of Toronto reported that a pallet carrying lithium-ion batteries for e-bikes destined for an Austrian Airlines flight caught fire. According to the Transportation Safety Board the incident is still under investigation.
Both cases put Canada at the center of one of the most hotly debated issues in the aviation world. Lithium ion batteries are not only used for e-bikes, but also in many other products like cell phones, laptops and power tools.
Batteries tend to ignite
The main problem of lithium ion batteries is that they tend to ignite spontaneously, causing a major problem for airline regulation whether shipped in bulk or carried by individual passengers onto planes.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will not wait on the final results of both investigations. In January 2013, the ICAO will introduce tighter regulations for the shipment of lithium ion batteries. The rules mean that more batteries will be treated as fully regulated dangerous goods. They also provide for better training for shippers and better packaging.