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Originally published Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 10:02 AM

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Pilots want lithium battery shipments banned on planes

Three fires aboard U.S. airlines in the last two months were caused by lithium battery shipments in cargo, says Air Line Pilots Association

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The world's largest pilots union wants the federal government to ban the shipment of lithium batteries on passenger and cargo planes.

The Air Line Pilots Association said Tuesday that there have been three incidents in the past two months in with lithium battery shipments caused fires aboard U.S. airliners. It said the incidents took place in Minneapolis, Honolulu and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

John Prater, the union's president, said there is clear evidence the danger is increasing and an immediate ban is warranted to protect airline passengers, crew and cargo. If the batteries short-circuit, they can produce intense heat and even explode.

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