JayplasImage showing the huge plumes of smoke as the fire took hold at the Jayplas site. Image: West Midlands Fire Service
A huge fire at a plastics recycling plant in the West Midlands is thought to have caused six million pounds worth of damage.
The fire, at the Jayplas site in Smethwick, occurred at around 11pm on Sunday night (30th June) and is thought to have been started when a Chinese lantern landed in a bale of plastics.
As many as 200 firefighters tackled the blaze at its peak, with crews describing it as one of the worst they have seen.
The fire, which involved 100,000 tonnes of recycled plastic and paper in an area 300 metres square, produced a huge plume of thick black smoke over Birmingham and the Black country.
West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) says it is calling for an urgent review of the legislation regarding the use of airborne ‘fire’ lanterns.
“There is evidence of them causing fires, wasting emergency services’ time, being mistaken for distress flares, misleading pilots and causing environmental damage,” WMFS said in a statement.
Vij Randeniya, WMFS’ Chief fire officer, told reporters that the fire is the 15th to occur at a waste recycling site in the West Midlands this year and said he was calling for a meeting with plant operators.
Mike Maxwell, Jayplas’ Director, told BBC news the fire had been "a tragic accident over which we had no control".