Smethwick fire explained

Firefighters are advising recycling plants on how to store rubbish to prevent fires. It comes just two weeks after the biggest fire the West Midlands has ever seen. A Chinese lantern landed on thousands of tonnes of rubbish at a centre in Smethwick.

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Firefighters to remain at Smethwick plant for days

Steve Vincent, Area Commander of the West Midlands Fire and Service, has told ITV News Central that firefighters will remain at the scene of the fire in Smethwick for the next few days.

Two hundred firefighters tackled the blaze at the recycling plant yesterday, with around 50 still on site today.

Mr Vincent said: "This was one of the largest fires that the West Midlands Fire Service has ever had to tackle."

Environment Agency checks canal oxygen levels

The Environment Agency have been checking oxygen levels in the Birmingham canal following a major fire at a recycling plant in Smethwick yesterday.

Members of the Environment Agency at the Birmingham canal Credit: ITV News Central

The body said its "primary concern" was to ensure the protection of the environment and the local community.

Working with West Midlands Fire Service, Severn Trent Water and the Canal & River Trust, the Agency has tried to minimise any fire water run-off entering the canal, with most being contained and pumped into the sewer.

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Farmer talks of injuries to cattle by Chinese lanterns

A farmer from Lincolnshire has told ITV News Central about injuries caused to her cattle by Chinese lanterns drifting on to her land.

Pat Stanley, who runs a farm in Coalville, says fine fragments of metal are eaten by livestock.

Yesterday West Midlands Fire Service said a Chinese lantern could have been the cause of large recycling plant fire in Smethwick.

Road closures remain in place after Smethwick fire

Road closures are still in place following yesterday's fire at a recycling plant in Smethwick.

Firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service are still at the scene, where more than 50,000 tonnes of recycling material went up in flames.

  • Birmingham Road at Halfords Lane
  • Telford Way at Dartmouth Road
  • Dartmouth Road at Bevan Way
  • Halfords Lane at Cambridge Road
  • Dartmouth Road/Brasshouse Lane/Lewisham Road/Cambridge Road
  • Lewisham Road at Middlemore Road
  • Brasshouse Road at North Western Road

Ten fire engines remain at Smethwick plant fire

Around ten fire engines and 60 firefighters remain at the scene of a recyling plant fire in Smethwick, West Midlands Fire Service said.

Firefighters are likely to remain on site until tomorrow, with the operation now in it's "final stages".

West Midlands Fire Service are working with a digger and excavator to break up the molten, compacted plastic, sto safely extinguish any hidden pockets of fire.

Ambulance teams treated 13 people at Smethwick fire

The West Midlands Ambulance team has treated a total of 13 people, including 12 firefighters, at the scene of the recycling plant fire in Smethwick.

Photos of the blaze yesterday taken by viewer Jordan Higgins Credit: Jordan Higgins

In total three people were taken to hospital after more than 50,000 tonnes of recycling material was set alight.

The smoke above the factory blaze yesterday Credit: Jordan Higgins

Briefings are expected to take place today on road closures surrounding the factory.

The wind carries the smoke after Smethwick fire yesterday Credit: Jordan Higgins

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Clean-up operation begins in Smethwick after fire

A major clean-up operation is underway following a fire at a recycling plant in Smethwick which could have been caused by a Chinese lantern.

Around 200 firefighters fought the flames which destroyed more than 50,000 tonnes of recycling material.

Fire hoses cover the ground in Smethwick Credit: ITV News Central

Yesterday West Midlands Fire Service called for an "urgent review" of the legislation regarding the use of Chinese lanterns.

This digger will be used to clean up the hardened plastic Credit: ITV News Central

West Midlands Fire Service said: "We are also urging community leaders and members of the public to discourage the use of the lanterns, on the basis that they constitute a fire risk when released."

Firefighters dampen down the flames Credit: ITV News Central
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Lib Dem president: 'Ban Chinese lanterns'

Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron has repeated calls for a ban on Chinese lanterns following the Smethwick fire.

The Cumbrian MP made calls for the lanterns to be banned in 2012, saying "these lanterns are a spectacular sight to enjoy but many don't realise the harm they can do".

Smethwick fire: Firefighters making progress

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