Flying danger: Fla. company fined for hazmat-filled suitcases
A Florida computer company is facing a $63,750 fine for trying to send hundreds of lithium ion batteries by air from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
According to the U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), J&J Tech Group of Miami allegedly violated the Hazardous Materials Regulations when two passengers affiliated with the company offered three checked bags containing 318 lithium ion batteries for the February 22, 2017 flight. The shipment also contained 85 cell phones and 11 laptop computers that contained lithium ion batteries.
American Airlines workers at Miami International Airport discovered the shipment during checked baggage screening.
Regulations prohibit offering these batteries as cargo on a passenger-carrying aircraft because of the risk of them catching fire in the cargo hold, where a fire would not be immediately seen and extinguished. If a battery-powered device were to catch fire in the cargo hold, the onboard suppression system might extinguish the flames, but the battery would continue to heat up, potentially causing other fires.
The FAA also alleges that J&J Tech Group:
- Offered more lithium batteries in checked luggage than are allowed by the regulations.
- Failed to accompany the shipments with a shipper’s declaration of dangerous goods and were not properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled or in the proper condition for shipment.
- Failed to ensure that each of its employees received required hazardous materials training, and failed to provide emergency response information with the shipment.
J&J Tech Group has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.