Wheelchair battery ignites fire in hold of El Al plane before Paris takeoff
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Wheelchair battery ignites fire in hold of El Al plane before Paris takeoff

Passengers deboarded, taken to hotel as aircraft grounded

Illustrative. An El Al airline plane at Ben Gurion International Airport on August 17, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
File: An El Al airline plane at Ben Gurion International Airport on August 17, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

A fire broke out inside an El Al plane just before takeoff from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport Sunday night, Channel 13 news reported.

The fire was apparently sparked by a lithium-ion battery of a wheelchair in the aircraft’s baggage hold. The battery had not been removed from the wheelchair as is required.

Passengers, who had already boarded the plane, were required to disembark and wait in the terminal for several hours. Eventually they were taken to a hotel for the night, and were expected to depart for Israel on Monday.

El Al acknowledged in a statement that the flight had been canceled due to smoke in the hold likely caused by a battery fire.

“We apologize to the passengers for the inconvenience. The safety and security of the passengers are our top priority,” it said.

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