Tags: cameron | chinese | lantern | ban

Prime Minister Cameron Opposes Chinese Lantern Ban

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Jul 2013 06:48 PM

The office of British Prime Minister David Cameron Tuesday played down damage caused by Chinese lanterns, saying they are only responsible for a "very small" number of incidents, in response to calls from Members of Parliament (MP) for banning them.

A spokesman for the prime minister said it is necessary to ensure that any government response was "proportionate" after the lanterns were reportedly linked to a large fire at a recycling plant.

Earlier, Liberal Democratic Party MP Tim Farron said they should be treated as "incendiary devices" in the wake of a massive fire that broke out at J&A Young, a recycling plant in rural Smethwick in central England.

More than 200 firefighters have been working to extinguish the blaze, which is believed to have been caused by a defective lantern. Eleven were treated at the scene for minor injuries while fighting the blaze, the London Telegraph reported. Three firefighters were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The fire sent a plume of smoke rising 6,000 feet into the air which could be seen 30 miles away.

Although there were no fatalities, Farron warned that continued use of the lanterns posed an unacceptable risk to public safety. He said it would be "appalling" if lawmakers failed to act and people perished in a subsequent fire. Farming and conservation groups have also called for banning the devices, calling them a danger to animals and the environment.

In June 2011, a Chinese lantern caused a huge fire at an industrial location in Somerton, Somerset. One month later, a family was forced to flee its house in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, after a Chinese lantern set fire to their roof.

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The office of British Prime Minister David Cameron Tuesday played down damage caused by Chinese lanterns, saying they are only responsible for a very small number of incidents, in response to calls from Members of Parliament (MP) for banning them.
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Tuesday, 02 Jul 2013 06:48 PM
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