Boeing Shares Fall After Heathrow Incident

Tickers in this article: BA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Boeing shares plummeted shortly after 12 p.m. ET after a 787 "Dreamliner" caught on fire at London's Heathrow Airport.

Shares had been trading at $107.48 at noon, but dropped as low as $99.40 by 12:50 p.m. Boeing rebounded $101.78, or down 4.77%, in mid-afternoon trading. Boeing is up 34.97% so far this year.

Both runways at the British airport were closed after a fire started on an empty Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner. Boeing, the Chicago-based aerospace and defense company, tweeted that personnel were on scene to address the issue. The fire on the plane, named "Queen of Sheba," was extinguished and the plane was towed to a parking area, allowing service to resume at Heathrow.

"The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand. There were no passengers on board and there are no reported injuries at this time. Arrivals and departures are temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attend to this incident. This is a standard procedure if fire crews are occupied with an incident," Heathrow Airport said in a statement Friday.

The 787 family carries between 210 to 290 passengers for ranges over 8,000 nautical miles, according to Boeing's Web site.

Boeing's 787s have faced problems in the past. In January, 50 Dreamliners were grounded by the American Federal Aviation Agency due to battery malfunctions. The innovative lithium-ion battery system had caused fires on two separate planes: one in Boston and the other in Japan. The FAA approved plans to fix the problems in March.

Last week's Asiana Airlines crash was also a Boeing Aircraft. The pilots claim that the auto-throttle on the Boeing 777 had not operated properly. The National Transportation Safety Board is still determining the causes of the accident, which resulted in two deaths.

Boeing and Heathrow Airport have not disclosed the cause of the fire.

-- Written by Robert Arenella in New York

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