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Monday 21 April 2014

Chinese lanterns blamed for spectacular blaze at plastic factory

Handout photo issued by West Midlands Fire Service of 
a fire at J&A Young in Smethwick, Birmingham, as more than 200 firefighters are tackling the blaze at the plastics recycling plant. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday July 1, 2013. West Midlands Fire Service said it had more than 35 appliances at the scene of the blaze in Dartmouth Road.  Emergency services were called to reports of a fire at around 11pm last night. Nearby residents have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed as a precaution. A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said: ?We are currently dealing with a very large and dramatic recycling fire in Smethwick. ?Due to the intensity of the fire, the smoke plume is rising 6,000ft into the air, which may affect air travel.?  See PA story FIRE Recycling. Photo credit should read: West Midlands Fire Service/PA Wire 

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Handout photo issued by West Midlands Fire Service of a fire at J&A Young in Smethwick, Birmingham, as more than 200 firefighters are tackling the blaze at the plastics recycling plant. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday July 1, 2013. West Midlands Fire Service said it had more than 35 appliances at the scene of the blaze in Dartmouth Road. Emergency services were called to reports of a fire at around 11pm last night. Nearby residents have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed as a precaution. A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said: ?We are currently dealing with a very large and dramatic recycling fire in Smethwick. ?Due to the intensity of the fire, the smoke plume is rising 6,000ft into the air, which may affect air travel.? See PA story FIRE Recycling. Photo credit should read: West Midlands Fire Service/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

CHINESE lanterns caused a huge blaze which continues to burn at a plastics recycling plant, senior fire officers in England have said.

About 100,000 tonnes of material are involved in the fire at the Jayplas recycling facility in Smethwick, near Birmingham, in what is one of the largest blazes in the region in recent years.

 

West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service area commander Steve Vincent said: "A Chinese lantern was spotted on CCTV floating across and into the site and starting a fire in plastic bales."

 

The fire service said it had more than 35 appliances and at one point up to 200 firefighters at the scene in Dartmouth Road after the blaze was first reported at about 11pm last night.

 

Ten firefighters have been injured while tackling the flames, with two taken to hospital - one with an eye injury and a second with an ankle injury.

 

Eight others were treated at the scene for minor heat-related injuries, a spokesman for the service said.

 

Nearby residents have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed as a precaution.

 

A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said: "Around 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material is involved in the blaze.

 

"We've had a couple of similar fires in the last few months in the region but there isn't a trend.

 

"The blaze is certainly one of the largest we've tackled but not the largest ever.

 

"We're making good progress at the moment at the scene.

 

"There is no danger to the public but we have advised residents to keep their windows and doors shut as a precautionary measure."

 

There had been fears that flights at Birmingham International Airport could have been affected by the huge 6,000ft (1,830m) column of smoke thrown up from the intense blaze.

 

However, an airport spokesman said "operations were continuing as normal" and no flights had been affected.

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