SMETHWICK, UNITED KINGDOM, JULY 1, 2013;
The blaze involving 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material at a factory in Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, West Midlands as seen from Birmingham city centre. See NTI story NTIBLAZE. Ten firefighters have been injured battling a dramatic blaze when up to 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling went up in flames near Birmingham – caused by a CHINESE LANTERN. Over 200 firefighters have been tackling the massive fire on an industrial estate in Smethwick, West Mids., in the biggest blaze West Midlands Fire Service has ever seen. Thick plumes of black smoke billowed up to 6,000ft in the air and could be seen over 80 MILES away including Oxford, Coventry and by hundreds of motorists driving on the M40 and M1 motorways towards London. Shocked residents described “apocalyptic” scenes “like something from an action movie” that unfolded at 11pm on Sunday (30/6) evening. Over 35 fire appliances as well as police and ambulance crews rushed to the scene at the J & A Young recycling plant, on Dartmouth Road, where they battled throughout the night to control the flames. The smouldering wreckage of the gutted building continued to burn throughout yesterday (Mon) as fire bosses warned the flames could burn all week.