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National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB: New rules needed for air shipments of batteries

The government should issue more stringent rules for how rechargeable batteries are shipped on planes to prevent uncontrollable fires, the chairman of a federal accident investigations board said Tuesday.

Lithium-ion batteries should be separated from other flammable cargo and the amount of batteries in a single cargo pallet or container should be limited, Chris Hart, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said in a letter to the government agency that sets rules for transporting hazardous materials.

Rechargeable batteries, which are widely used in consumer electronics like cellphones and laptops as well as some cars, can short-circuit and ignite for a variety...