Bezos battery-box bomb beef brouhaha begins as UK watchdog hauls Amazon to court

It could've been rainin' planes, claims regulator

The court date for a legal showdown between Amazon and the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has been set, with the parties to fight it out over allegations that Amazon broke safety rules in transporting lithium ion batteries.

The CAA claims Amazon flouted rules for shipping lithium-ion batteries, which are potentially highly flammable, on transport aircraft.

The 11 charges were first brought against the company in June this year and relate to allegations that the company committed offences before July 2014.

Amazon yesterday entered its formal plea of not guilty. It's due in court again in September 2016.

There have been several instances of lithium-ion batteries catching fire on aircraft over the last few years. The most recent was the infamous Boeing 787 Dreamliner, operated by Japan Airlines.

In this case it was the craft's own battery pack which began emitting white smoke and a mechanic discovered one of the lithium ion cells had vented its fluid.

That led to the entire 787 fleet being grounded, while the battery system was upgraded.

A CAA spokesman said: “The CAA is prosecuting Amazon UK Services Ltd in relation to alleged breaches of dangerous goods regulations. A trial date has been set for 6 September 2016 and it would be inappropriate to comment further until the case has been concluded."

An Amazon spokesman said: "The safety of the public, our customers, employees and partners is an absolute priority. We are confident in our safety programmes and are continually reviewing and improving them." ®

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