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Fire brigade urges police to ban use of flying lanterns

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The Mumbai Fire Brigade has asked the city police to ban the use of flying lanterns during Diwali celebration in a bid to avert possible threats caused by them.

Chief of Fire Brigade, BMC, P S Rahangdale in a letter to Mumbai Police Commissioner, has drawn the attention of police department towards accidents caused due to ‘flying lanterns’ every year.

“Flying lanterns in large number are released in air during Diwali and Makar Sankranti (festivals), which pose serious threat to aircraft, high rise towers, slums, installations of HPCL and BPCL refineries etc. Even terrorists activities cannot be ruled out by its use,” the letter sent yesterday, read.

It is, therefore, essential to ban the use of flying lantern so that possible threats can be averted, it said.

Referring Nation Fire Protection Associations’s (NFPA) recommendations, Rahangdale said countries like the US, Thailand have also supported the ban on such flying objects.

He also asked the police to take action against those found selling and flying such item under the relevant sections of the IPC.

The Fire Brigade chief also cited data of calls received at their stations during Diwali in the last three years. A total of 217 calls were received in three years from 2013 to 2015.

Out of 217, 103 calls reported fire at refuse area of buildings. In as many as 80 incidents (calls), fire took place in godown and other parts of house.

Besides, the city fire brigade has also launched a campaign to sensitise Mumbaikars to observe a safe and secure Diwali.

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