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Originally published Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 11:07 PM

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787 suffers "engine issue" on Charleston runway

Boeing confirmed a 787 Dreamliner experienced "an engine issue" during runway testing, leading to an NTSB investigation.

By Seattle Times business staff

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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an engine malfunction in a 787 that may have caused a grass fire at Charleston International Airport, shutting down the runway for more than an hour Saturday afternoon.

A Boeing statement emailed late Saturday confirmed that "a 787 experienced an engine issue today while undergoing preflight runway testing in North Charleston. As the NTSB investigates, Boeing and GE are working closely with the agency and are committed to resolving the issue appropriately."

The Charleston Post and Courier newspaper reported on its website that a ground emergency was declared at the airport at 4:07 p.m. when a grass fire erupted on the airfield.

Emergency crews discovered metal debris on the approach to the airport's only operational runway and ordered it shut down, the newspaper reported.

Boeing SC spokeswoman Candy Eslinger told the Post and Courier that the unpainted 787 involved in the incident was the latest one built at Boeing's North Charleston complex. The plane is powered by GE engines, she said.

"We are unaware of any operational issue that would present concerns about the continued safe operation of in-service 787s powered by GE engines," said the Boeing statement.

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