Airlines ban rechargeable battery shipments as evidence of fire, explosion risks mount

IndustrialsAssociated Press

Some of the world's largest airlines are banning bulk shipments of rechargeable batteries in the face of mounting evidence of their potential to cause catastrophic in-flight fires.

Citing safety concerns, United Airlines on Monday became the second major U.S. airline to announce it will no longer accept bulk shipments of rechargeable batteries. Also called lithium-ion batteries, they are used to power everything from smartphones to laptops to power tools.

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Delta Air Lines quietly stopped accepting bulk shipments of the rechargeable batteries on Feb. 1. Air France has also stopped accepting bulk shipments of the batteries, according to several aviation officials. Officials for the airline didn't immediately respond to an inquiry from The Associated Press.