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Transportation

Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" spouts fuel on runway, adds to company's woes

Boeing has denied suspicions about its Dreamliner models being plagued by technical issues. The latest malfunction involved a mysterious fuel leak shortly before take off at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Boeing has not yet released a statement on its website regarding the cause of its second technical mishap this week.

One of its mid-sized airbuses due to fly from Boston to Tokyo began losing fuel on Tuesday while preparing for take off earlier in the day, according to a spokesperson for Massport, the local airport authority.

"Japan Airlines flight 7 was leaking fuel" as it was taxiing on the runaway, said Massport spokeperson Matthew Brelis.

The Dreamliner gushed about 40 gallons (151 liters), according to Brelis. The 178 passengers disembarked the plane after ground personnel towed the Boeing 787 back to the gate.

Though mechanics were able to resolved the "technical issue" and give the green light for departure, no cause was given for the glitch.

The latest incident added to the company's string of technical difficulties with its long-distance models.

On Monday, smoke filled a Dreamliner from Tokyo which had just landed at Boston's Logan International Airport. Passengers were not on board at the time of the incident.

An electrical problem had caused the fire, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Japan Airlines has ordered about 45 of Boeing's long-distance Dreamliner models.

Since their development, the Dreamliners have experienced multiple technical problems. Boeing contended, in a statement released on Monday, that the fire was not related to earlier issues.

"Nothing that we've seen in this case indicates a relationship to any previous 787 power system events, which involved power panel faults elsewhere in the aft electrical equipment bay," Boeing said.

U.S. Boeing is the main rival of Europe's aviation manufacturer Airbus. Airbus is currently developing the A350, a comparable model to the Boeing 787.

kms/rg (AFP, AP, dpa)