1. ITV Report

Firefighters struggle with massive Smethwick recycling plant blaze

Firefighters are struggling to deal with a fire at a recycling plant in the Midlands which was started by a stray Chinese lantern.

They have called for them to be banned, after a fire started when bales of plastic at the site in Smethwick were set alight when the lantern floated over the factory.

A plume of black acrid smoke from the fire could be seen more than 20 miles away.

Vijith Randeniya, chief fire officer of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said a Chinese fire lantern which sparked the fire in Smethwick, caused £6 million worth of damage.

My forensics people have been here from the start and have reviewed CCTV and spoken to people and looked at the way the fire started and looking at the CCTV evidence, you can see a Chinese lantern floating gently, and then land and then eight minutes later you see the fire start.

– Vijith Randeniya, chief fire officer of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service

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