Did lithium batteries blow up MH370?
SAN DIEGO: A new theory puts forth the idea that lithium batteries in the cargo of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could have overheated and caused a massive explosion that ended the flight in mid-air on its way to Beijing.
According to an ABC News report, this explosive theory is documented in a just-released US government test video detailing the vulnerability of passenger planes to fires caused by rechargeable lithium batteries in its cargo hold.
San Diego-based attorney Dan Gilleon, who represents the family members of a passenger missing on board Flight 370, said the test did shed some light on how batteries on board flights could affect the safety of its passengers.
“When the FAA conducts a test, those results are going to be accepted by most experts. It’s a huge development, as least for this particular theory,” said Gilleon.
In the test, 5,000 lithium-ion batteries and a cartridge heater were added to simulate a single battery experiencing overheating. The mounting heat caused batteries stored nearby to also overheat, raising temperature levels to almost 1,100 degrees, enough to cause a strong explosion.
If this is indeed what took place, experts suggest that fumes from the battery fire intoxicated the crew, resulting in the plane flying for hours on autopilot before crashing into the ocean.
However aviation expert Han Weber does not buy into this theory saying, “The fire suppression system should have addressed the fire. Sensors should have told the pilots about a problem, and they could have put on their masks and had time to address it.
“If the fire became a big issue quickly, it would have taken down the plane. Instead, it flew for hours. Also, how do you explain the fact the flight was wilfully directed in a different direction?”