Chinese lantern lands close to fuel container
AIRPORT AUTHORITIES have issued a warning to people after a Chinese lantern landed close to a container holding thousands of gallons of fuel.
The incident happened at Carrickfinn Airport in Co Donegal over the weekend.
The lantern landed on the airport runway only yards from fuel tanks.
The incident was witnessed by passerby Michael Connolly at about 9.30pm on Friday.
Mr Connolly said he believed tourists released the lantern and perhaps didn’t realise the full extent of the danger they might cause.
“I witnessed a number of people some distance away from me, on the road adjacent to the airport runway, sending the burning lantern into the air.
“They drove off immediately after sending the burning lantern into the air,” he said.
The incident has been condemned by airport authorities.
Security officer Brian Boyle described it as “mindless and stupid”. He said the conditions for a serious incident were perfect if the lantern had ignited the fuel.
“The location where the lantern landed is only yards from where thousands of gallons of aviation fuel are stored, and the airport is surrounded by crisp, dry vegetation which is also highly flammable at this time of year,” he said.