[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw0rCI34sZI&w=472]Firefighters have been battling a blaze at a plastics recycling plant in Smethwick after reports that a single Chinese lantern is to blame for igniting the fire.
The blaze is possibly the biggest ever seen in the West Midlands and was described as “cataclysmic” by the Daily Mail.
Around 200 firefighters have been tackling the blaze on the outskirts of Birmingham, where an estimated 100,000 tonnes of recycling material and a factory unit are still on fire.
Vij Randeniya, chief fire officer at West Midlands Fire Service, told Sky News: “We believe a Chinese lantern dropped onto some bales of plastic and, looking at CCTV, it would appear that was the cause.
“Chinese lanterns have been involved in a number of incidents and firefighters have been campaigning for there to be better controls.
“They look really nice but they do pose a danger.”
Randeniya said firefighters were tackling “one of the largest fires we’ve experienced”, with intense heat released from the burning plastics.
“These are difficult fires to extinguish and we anticipate being here for a number of days,” he said.