Missing jet WAS carrying highly flammable lithium batteries: CEO of Malaysian Airlines finally admits to dangerous cargo four days after DENYING it
When asked days ago, he said it was carrying 'tonnes of mangosteens'
Lithium-ion batteries have caused 140 mid-air incidents in last 20 years
The devices are commonly used in mobile phones and laptops
Classed as dangerous by The International Civil Aviation Organisation
Reignites theory that missing flight may have crashed after on-board fire
Aviation expert said it re-affirm belief that flames started in cargo hold
One cargo plane crashed in 2010 after attempting an emergency landing
Safety report said battery caught fire and filled the flight deck with smoke
By Simon Tomlinson
PUBLISHED: 12:11 EST, 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 03:57 EST, 22 March 2014
Malaysian Airlines today confirmed that flight MH370 had been carrying highly flammable lithium-ion batteries in its cargo hold, re-igniting speculation that a fire may have caused its disappearance.
The admission by CEO Ahmad Jauhari comes four days after he denied the aircraft was carrying any dangerous items and nearly two weeks after the plane went missing.
He said the authorities were investigating the cargo, but did not regard the batteries as hazardous - despite the law dictating they are classed as such - because they were packaged according to safety regulations.
The revelation has thrown the spotlight back on the theory that the Boeing 777 may have been overcome by a fire, rendering the crew and passengers unconscious after inhaling toxic fumes.
Lithium-ion batteries - which are used in mobile phones and laptops - have been responsible for a number of fires on planes and have even brought aircraft down in recent years.