Battery in fatal Tesla crash in Florida reignited twice: NTSB report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Tesla Inc Model S involved in a May 8 fatal high-speed crash in Florida reignited twice after firefighters extinguished a fire in the electric vehicle, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a preliminary report on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The Tesla logo is seen at the entrance to Tesla Motors’ new showroom in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The report said the vehicle was traveling 116 miles per hour seconds before it crashed into a metal light pole. The Fort Lauderdale Fire Department found the vehicle fully engulfed in flames and extinguished the vehicle fire using 200–300 gallons of water and foam, the NTSB said.

The report said during removal of the car from the scene, the battery reignited and was quickly extinguished. “Upon arrival at the storage yard, the battery reignited again,” the report said and was again quickly put out. There have been other reported cases of crashed Tesla battery packs reigniting, including after a fatal Tesla crash in March in California. Tesla declined to comment on the report, but has said its vehicles are much less likely to catch fire than gasoline-powered vehicles.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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