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Zodiac says stray object may have caused 787 fire

PARIS (Reuters) - Damage from a stray object is a possible cause of a fire on a Boeing <BA.N> 787 Dreamliner test flight two weeks ago and should not lead to a significant slowdown in the supply chain, French group Zodiac Aerospace <AODC.PA> said.

Chief executive Olivier Zarrouati told analysts on Tuesday that, if confirmed, the identification of a loose object would limit the impact on Boeing and its suppliers.

"It is fairly reassuring if it was indeed a question of foreign object damage," he said, adding he saw no reason for Boeing to order a strong slowdown in production.

He did not comment directly on a report that blamed the fire on a short circuit caused by a tool mistakenly left in an electrical equipment cabinet on the plane.

La Tribune reported U.S. contractor Hamilton Sundstrand, a unit of United Technologies <UTX.N> which works in partnership with Zodiac, was likely one of several manufacturers involved.

Zarrouati said the investigation was being led by Boeing, which was responsible for communicating officially on the causes and impact of the incident.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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