Boeing restless after two 787 Dreamliner incidents

Emergency vehicles engulf a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Jan. 7, 2013, after smoke from a small electrical fire filled the jet's cabin at Logan International Airport in Boston.
Stephan Savoia/AP

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- Boeing has invested more than $30 billion developing its new 787 Dreamliner -- one of the most advanced planes ever. But twice in two days, 787s have been grounded for safety problems.

By all accounts, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner encompasses the latest in aviation technology, including a greater reliance on electrical systems than in previous planes. But this week has been a bad one for the aircraft.

One hundred eight-nine people were on board the Boeing 787 Tuesday afternoon at Boston's Logan Airport when roughly 40 gallons of fuel spilled as it was taxiing to the runway. The plane was a Japan Airlines flight headed to Tokyo. It was towed back to the gate.

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The leak comes a day after another incident at Logan Airport. The cabin of a different Japan Airlines 787 filled with smoke minutes after passengers disembarked. Authorities say a fire broke out in the belly of the plane.

Because of that, United Airlines conducted overnight inspections of its 787s. All six are flying today.

United is the only American airline to fly the Dreamliner. Its inaugural flight was Nov. 4. Only a month later, a United 787 made an emergency landing in New Orleans. United said one of six generators on the plane failed, and the 787 never lost power.

As for yesterday's fire, Boeing released a statement saying that Japan Airlines has reported that smoke was traced to the battery used to start the auxiliary power unit. Boeing also said it found no connectino between yesterday's fire and the generator failure in December.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating both the fire and the fuel leak this week.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.