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Discarded cigarette probable cause of BoomTown fire

The blaze began in a car park Credit: ITV

Hampshire Fire and Rescue has identified lessons to be learned following an investigation into a blaze involving more than 90 vehicles at last year's BoomTown Festival.

It has published a report on their response to the incident at The Matterley Bowl in August last year, where a huge fire began in a car park.

The fire involved 92 vehicles, 80 of which were totally destroyed.

The report outlines how the fire began in stubble alongside a red Volkswagen Polo and was most likely caused by a discarded cigarette.

It states that the west gate car park, which had not been used before, was added to the event late on, but that critically no one realised that this field was stubble and not grass.

The report recommends that there should be some method of checking late additions and changes to the event and ensuring the risk assessment is updated if needed.

It also highlights that the event risk assessment should have been reviewed in July 2016, but it appears this was not done.

Although some recommendations have been outlined in the report, many of which Boomtown has already acted upon, the overall findings of the HFRS investigation are that there was no contravention of the Regulatory Reform Order by Boomtown with regards to the fire, the cause of which was deemed by HRFS to be a discarded cigarette.

We continue to work closely alongside Hampshire Fire and Rescue and our new fire safety contractor on the lessons learned and, as with every aspect of the event, ensure that we endeavour to streamline systems and make improvements year on year.

– BoomTown organisers

Music fan missing from Boomtown Fair

Officers are searching for Joshua Charters Credit: West Mercia Police

Police are appealing for help to find Joshua Charters, 24 years old, from Worcester who was last seen at the Boomtown Fair.

He was last seen at around 2.30am on Monday 15, but did not return to his tent that night and has not been seen since.

Joshua, described as medium build and around 6ft tall, was wearing a white or pale blue T-shirt, a black Superdry raincoat with Orange stitching, dark jeans and black and Orange Adidas running trainers

He is not believed to have any links to the Winchester area, but police are growing increasingly concerned that he has not been in contact with friends or family since the festival ended on Monday night.

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Investigation into teenager's death at Boomtown Fair

Investigations have been continuing today into the death of teenager, found in a tent at the Boomtown Fair in Hampshire.

Police were called to the music festival site near Winchester. Her death is not thought to be suspicious

It comes as work gets underway today to remove 85 cars, which were destroyed by a fire believed to have been caused by a discarded cigarette. Kate Bunkall reports

Pictures show 'vehicle graveyard' after Boomtown blaze

Rows upon rows of charred vehicle remains Credit: Alresford Fire Station

Dramatic pictures show the "vehicle graveyard" after the huge blaze swept through the carpark at Boomtown festival.

At least 80 vehicles were caught up in the inferno and a nearby campsite was evacuated.

The music event, which can host up to 50,000 people, is taking place in Winchester this weekend.

No festival performances have been affected by the incident and the weekend events are continuing as planned.

– BOOMTOWN FESTIVAL ORGANISERS
The burned out vehicles Credit: Hazardous Area Response Team

Organiser defends fair's safety record after fatality

Around 38,000 people attended this weekend's Boomtown Fair

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out today on a woman who died at the 'Boomtown Fair' at the weekend. The event takes place on the outskirts of Winchester every year.

The 31-year-old woman was found unconscious on Saturday and later died in hospital. Police say they are not treating her death as suspicious. It was the third fatality at the festival in four years.

Speaking to ITV Meridian, Adrian Coombs, the fair's organiser, insisted the event is safe.

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