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NTSB to update on Boeing 787 battery fire probe

US aviation safety authorities on Thursday will unveil preliminary findings of their investigation into a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft earlier this month.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was still examining the battery involved in the January 7 fire aboard the empty JAL plane parked at Logan airport in Boston.

"All eight cells had varying degrees of thermal damage," the NTSB said in a brief statement.

The fire is one of two incidents tied to 787 batteries that led to the entire global fleet of 50 of the aircraft being grounded last week until authorities determine they are safe to fly.

The NTSB said it would hold a news conference at 2:30 pm (1930 GMT) at its laboratory in Washington to provide an update on the JAL investigation.

At this point, six of the battery's eight cells have been CT-scanned and disassembled to expose their electrodes, the agency said. All electrode windings in the battery are being photo-documented and undergoing microscopic examination.

Investigators will conduct the same examination of the remaining two battery cells in the coming days, it added.

NTSB investigators are also taking part in the investigation into the January 16 emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways 787 in western Japan, also tied to the plane's batteries.

Investigators there plan to dismantle the battery pack after initial examination found no evidence of a sudden surge in voltage as the cause of the problem.

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