Thermal runaway of wheelchair’s lithium-ion battery forces El Al to cancel flight

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Door Alan Lebeda – http://www.airliners.net/photo/El-Al-Israel/Boeing-737-86N/1614030/L/, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17416955

On 27 October, El Al was forced to cancel flight LY326 between Paris CDG, France and Tel Aviv, Israel. Smoke was detected in the cargo compartment of a Boeing 737-900 (4X-EHE), caused by a lithium-ion battery in a wheelchair, according to the Israeli television channel Channel 13.

In a statement, the airline said that the aircraft was grounded after smoke was detected in the hold, probably caused by a battery fire. El Al said that the battery had not been removed from the wheelchair as required by aviation rules.

Luckily, the incident happened during boarding: “Passengers who already boarded, had to disembark. All passengers have been offered hotel rooms for the night and a new departure to Tel Aviv was scheduled the next day (Monday),” the airline added, emphasizing that “the safety and security of the passengers are our top priority.”

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