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FAA orders safety changes to Boeing 767 fuel tanks

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators are ordering safety adjustments to the fuel tanks of more than 400 Boeing 767s registered in the U.S.

It's part of an effort to prevent a devastating midflight explosion.

The Federal Aviation Administration directive gives operators of the popular airliner three years to install an automatic fuel pump shut-off system for the center fuel tanks on 767s. The concern is that if fuel in the tank dips too low while the pump is still operating, that could ignite fuel and air vapors in certain conditions.

In the meantime, flight crews are supposed to close the pumps themselves when fuel gets low.

The FAA order is one in a series of steps taken in recent years to prevent the possible ignition of vapors inside fuel tanks in response to the 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York's Long Island. All 230 people on board were killed.

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