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Jan 17, 2013 2:56 AM by Associated Press

Lithium batteries central to Boeing's 787 woes

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lithium batteries that can leak corrosive fluid and start fires are emerging as the chief safety concern involving Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

The problem is more serious than government or company officials acknowledged less than a week ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration late Wednesday grounded Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced jetliner until the risk of battery fires is resolved.

The order applies only to United Airlines, the lone U.S. carrier with 787s. But other airlines and civil aviation authorities in other countries will be under pressure to follow suit.

The order was prompted by two incidents that resulted in the release of battery fluid, heat damage and smoke. Safety experts said the fluid leak is especially concerning. The fluid is extremely corrosive and can quickly damage electrical wiring and components.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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