London 2012 Olympics: Torch goes out on day three
THE Olympic flame went out on the third day of the torch relay due to a 'malfunctioning burner', Games organisers have confirmed.
The torch was on the side of David Follett's wheelchair in Great Torrington, Devon, when it went out for the first time since arriving in Britain ahead of the Olympics.
A replacement flame was brought from the vehicle convoy that accompanies the torch bearers.
A spokesman for Locog said: "The flame went out due to a malfunctioning burner. It is not uncommon for a flame to go out and this can happen for a number of reasons, for example, in extreme winds.
"We keep the mother flame in specially designed miners' lanterns so if the flame does go out for some reason on the relay we re-light it from the source of the flame."
Follett, a wheelchair badminton champion from nearby Exeter, was able to continue using a substitute torch which had been lit from the mother flame.
The Olympic torches were designed in London by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who commended its ability to withstand adverse weather and stay lit in an interview last week.
"The torch had to be economical and sustainable as well as being beautiful and strong, so it’s an incredibly complicated piece of design," they said.
"It has to function at high altitudes, sub-zero temperatures, in strong winds and also be incredibly light as so many different types of people will be carrying it."
The flame is supposed to remain alight even in high winds because of a gas burner system held in the centre of the torch which emits a gas mix that optimises flame height, colour and luminosity.
The relay is in its third day and the torch is travelling between Exeter and Taunton. Former Long jump gold medal winner Jonathan Edwards and cricketer Marcus Trescothick are among Monday's runners.
This is not the first occasion on which the Olympic flame has been extinguished in recent days. A gust of wind blew out the flame during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece while it was being held by an actress playing a high priestess who was re-enacting a scene from the ancient Olympics.