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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cumbria MP calls for ban on Chinese lanterns

CHINESE lanterns must be banned before they cause a fatal fire, South Lakeland’s MP has said after one started a huge blaze at a recycling centre.

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Tim Farron, who has been campaigning for some time against their use because of farmers' concerns about the impact on crops and livestock, said they are "immensely dangerous".

Investigators have established that a lantern - captured on CCTV falling on to the site - was to blame for the blaze in Smethwick, near Birmingham, which was tackled by 200 firefighters and caused £6m of damage.

Vijith Randeniya, chief fire officer of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said it was time that "sensible people have a sensible discussion" about the issue.

Mr Farron said it had taken a major incident in an urban area in which it was "extremely lucky" that no-one was killed to bring home the dangers of the lanterns, which farmers in his rural Cumbrian constituency have been warning about for several years.

"It is laudable for governments to take their time and be cautious about banning things but the evidence now very strongly points towards that ban," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today.

"This could be repeated again and it could have a loss of life attached to it which would be an absolutely appalling tragedy.

"I think all of us would feel utterly, utterly appalling if we had failed to take action when we had the chance."

Have your say

Haha, Ulphamaniac , Just because your grandmas cat died the whole world must be deprived from the beauty of chinese lanterns and the joy they bring.
I saw some guys pet turtle get his head stuck in a beer can that was thrown in his garden last year, the turtle died. Should we now put a ban on beer cans?
Safety concious or Moaning idiots?

Posted by Dave on 3 July 2013 at 14:19

My Grandmothers cat got cought up in the wirey frame left when one of these lanterns landed in her garden. Poor Max died while trying to escape as the wire cut into his neck. My Grandmother was heartbroken finding her beloved companion like that.
Ban them now!

Posted by Ulphamaniac on 3 July 2013 at 11:49

View all 15 comments on this article

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