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United 787 En Route to Newark Makes Emergency Landing

A Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner jet flown by United Continental Holdings Inc. made an emergency landing after a mechanical issue with the twin-engine jet.

Flight 1146 from Houston to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport was diverted to New Orleans at about 9:30 a.m. local time today, Christen David, a United spokeswoman, said by telephone. She couldn’t elaborate on the reasons and said the plane was still in New Orleans being inspected.

The Dreamliner, the world’s first jetliner built chiefly of composite materials, landed safely after pilots declared an emergency, she said. The jet carried 174 passengers and 10 crew members, who were put on another aircraft to Newark.

“United will work with Boeing to review the diversion and determine the cause,” David said.

The Seattle Times, citing recorded air-traffic control transmissions, said the pilot reported an “electrical malfunction.” According to the newspaper, a person at Boeing with knowledge of the incident said electrical panels in the plane’s electronics bays showed no sign of fire or arcing.

United took delivery of its first Dreamliner in September and has three of the planes in service.

Lori Gunter, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing, said the planemaker is aware of the United incident and will work with the carrier to “further understand the event.”

The Houston Chronicle reported the incident earlier today.

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