Plane lands in Rochester after reporting smoke onboard

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Emergency crews responded to the Rochester International Airport Tuesday morning after an incoming plane reported smoke in its cargo hold.

The FEDEX Boeing 757 notified the airport around 7:10 am that its onboard fire alarm indicated smoke in the rear hold of the aircraft.  Airport fire department crash trucks went to their designated spots on the runway and alerted the Rochester Fire Department.

The plane landed with no trouble and thermal imaging cameras were used to scan for any signs of fire inside.  What is described as a “mild area of heat build-up” was detected in the lower cargo hold but nothing was found when it was opened.

The upper hold was then checked, each container was visually inspected on the tarmac and then each package was checked when the containers were unloaded.

According to the Rochester Fire Department, the FEDEX plane was carrying a large number of lithium batteries in a shipment of computers.  Such batteries have caused fires on several aircraft in the past and are no longer allowed on passenger planes, but may still be shipped on cargo planes.

No damage to the plane or its contents was found and no one was injured in this incident.

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