Around 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material went up in smoke in what British firefighters described as the largest fire ever seen in the West Midlands. A 1,800 metre smoke plume rose from the Jayplas depot in Smethwick.
It took 200 fire fighters to contain the blaze which was thought to have been sparked by Chinese lanterns. The airborne lanterns light up the night sky at weddings, musical festivals and funerals, and cost as little as 2 pounds each.
The damage to the Jayplas depot could cost up to 6 million pounds (approximately 7 million euros).
The incident marks the 15th fire at a waste-transfer depot in the region in 2013. Firefighters have campaigned against Chinese lanterns. Farmers have also raised concerns about the decorative lanterns, as the metal frame harms cattle who consume them.