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Major Fire at Recycling Plant in Smethwick

Final Update 3rd July 10:00 am

West Midlands Fire still at scene. Most roads now open.


Update 2nd July 2013 8:45am

Fire Fighters tackled the huge recycling fire in Smethwick yesterday aggressively and are still continuing to work on the fire which is now said to be contained. The cause of the fire is reported in the media to be a ‘Chinese Lantern’ sparking new debates about  risks associated with the lanterns.  There is much less smoke coming from the fire now, information was issued yesterday by Public Health England to reassure the public if they felt any impacts associated with the plumes of smoke that moved across the Birmingham Area.

Public Health England in the West Midlands is responding to the fire at the Jayplas Plastics recycling depot on Dartmouth Road in Smethwick and is working with the Environment Agency, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Police and other local partners to manage the incident.

 A PHE West Midlands spokesperson said:    “PHE is working with the Environment Agency regarding air quality monitoring. Fires which involve large quantities of plastic may give rise to significant quantities of particulates and gaseous irritant compounds. The information we have suggests that there are only low density polyethylene (LDPE) materials present at the site. When they burn, materials such as these are unlikely to result in dioxins or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

 “Smoke from any source may contain substances that irritate the lining of air passages, eyes and skin; making the eyes and throat sore and possibly worsening any breathing or heart conditions.

 “Respiratory symptoms may include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication (such as inhalers) as usual.  

“People should do all they can to stay out of the smoke. If residents are affected by smoke, they should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should also keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.”

 Anyone affected by the smoke or concerned about its impact on their health should call NHS Direct 0845 4647 / NHS 111.



West Midlands Fire Service are currently dealing with a very large and dramatic recycling fire in Smethwick.  Due to the intensity of the fire the smoke plume is rising 6,000ft into the air which may affect air travel.  The incident involves a recycling plant called J & A Young, Dartmouth Road, Smethwick.  Approximately 200 + firefighters tackling the blaze which is sending thick black smoke into the local areas. Nine firefighters are also being treated for minor injuries.  There are 35 fire appliances and 3 hydraulic platforms in attendance.  To assist with water supplies there are 2 High Volume Pumping Units being used; 1 from West Midlands Fire Service and 1 from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.    

The smoke plume is travelling across Birmingham, City Centre heading towards Small Heath, Yardley. Advised to keep doors and windows shut. For further advice and information or 

Click on an icon for more information. This map was last updated at 13:59 6/11/2013. This map is provided for illustrative purposes only. See more

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