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U.S. safety board wants to strengthen air transport rules for prototype lithium batteries

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Monday urged strengthening air cargo shipping requirements for prototype and low-production lithium-ion batteries after a 2016 FedEx delivery truck fire in Canada, saying existing rules pose a “danger to all those involved in the transportation of these batteries, on the ground and in the air.”

The four large custom-made batteries were transported by FedEx Corp from Tampa, Florida, to Indianapolis, Indiana, and then on to Toronto, Ontario. The batteries ignited about 10 hours after being offloaded at the Toronto airport. The NTSB said the batteries may have qualified for an exemption in international shipping standards that allows for air transport of “prototype” or “low-production” batteries without passing some safety tests and called on U.S. regulators to remove the exemption. (Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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