Fire extinguished on Ethiopian Airlines freighter at Shanghai airport

Ethiopian Airlines freighter

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777-200 freighter caught fire while loading cargo Wednesday at China’s Shanghai Pudong airport.

The plane was operating on a regularly scheduled cargo service from Shanghai to Sao Paulo-Santiago via Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa airport, according to a message on the airline’s website. News reports say the freighter arrived at Shanghai from Brussels International Airport.

The fire appeared to start on the main cargo deck, burning through the fuselage, based on videos posted on Chinese social media.

No one was injured during the fire, which has been extinguished, Ethiopian said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Ethiopian Airlines said it is cooperating with Chinese investigators.

The airline operates a fleet of 10 777 freighters for international service, as well as two smaller B737-800 cargo planes on regional routes. It also carries cargo in the bellies of passenger planes.

Ethiopian Airlines adjusted its cargo operations earlier this year to assist with combating the spread of COVID-19 in East Africa. By early June, the carrier said it had flown 86 charter flights to transport medical supplies in response to the pandemic.

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.