Boeing 787s Grounded by ANA, Japan Air

By Bloomberg - 2013-01-16T09:49:45Z

Photograph by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

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Japan's Transport Ministry said the pilots and air-traffic controllers saw smoke.

In a worst-case scenario in which the batteries do burn, they are designed to do so in a way that doesn't threaten the aircraft. If the jet is airborne, smoke is supposed to be vented out of the compartment so that it doesn't reach the cabin, and all of the battery cells can ignite without harming the plane's ability to stay aloft.