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tonnes of paper destroyed after fire burns through the night at a
factory, closing a main route into Birmingham. This is a particularly
difficult type of incident, we put out fires and we're not leaving
until it is done. It's been revealed that a train
carrying aviation fuel was stopped before passing the scene. Also
tonight:. Claims that police are spending far too much time dealing
with mental health problems, which should be handled elsewhere.
police are a can-do organisation they are the first and last resort.
But their raw limitations to what they should be doing and what they
are qualified to do. All coming down to the last 90
minutes this weekend - can Kidderminster Harriers clinch a
place in the Football League? Ten years after his first appearance
on Midlands Today, the young sax player off to one of the best jazz
schools in the world. And temperatures have already peaked
this week and so have the winds. Good evening. It's emerged that a
train carrying aviation fuel was stopped before it passed the scene
of a massive fire in Birmingham early this morning. Firefighters
were tackling a blaze at a paper mill near the M6 when they realised
the train was due to pass by. Thousands of tonnes of paper and
cardboard caught fire at the Smurfit Kappa plant, after ten o'clock last
night. It's been brought under control but it could be days before
the fire actually burns itself out. Cath Mackie reports.
A wall of fire lights up the night in Nechells in Birmingham. These
dramatic scenes lasted for hours. The view from the fire service
hydraulic platform was equally powerful - a seeming sea of flames
at Smurfitt Kappa paper mill, waking local people from their sleep.
it out of my window, I have come out, I have just seen them rushing
down there to control the fire. morning the flames were still
licking the sky as 100 firefighters fought to keep them under control.
At the height of the blaze, it was really intense, a severe fire. We
had 10,000 tonnes of cardboard and paper on the sides. No one was hurt
- but for fire crews it was a powerful reminder of the dangers of
the job. 30 years ago in September, firefighter Freddie Flynt was killed
when a bale of paper fell on him and crushed him. So this is a difficult
type of incident to fight, it covers seven acres out of 22 acres, but we
will not leave until it is done. mile an hour winds sent the smoke
and ash billowing towards nearby homes, where people were told to
shut windows and doors. West Midlands fire service say they
managed to avert what could have been a highly dangerous situation
this morning. They were told by Network Rail of a train which was
due to pass by the here carrying highly explosive aviation fuel. The
train was stopped eight miles from the site and after a safety
assessment was carried out it was allowed to continue its journey 45
minutes later. People working at other businesses on the site weren't
allowed inside. One of them, Carl McGuire, was forced to work from
home. The way the recession is, we have struggled anyway, so this is
another nail in to be coughing, so to speak. It is pretty tough at the
moment but luckily, I don't do we have lost any major work. It is just
disruption again. The cause of the fire's being investigated. It's not
thought to be suspicious. Fire crews are expected to remain here for at
least another 24 hours. Let's speak to Simon Shelton from
the West Midlands Fire service. What is the situation this evening?
situation is we still have about 14 appliances on site, which equates to
about 75 firefighters. We do have the fire under control but it is
still burning intensively. It has been ever so windy, as that caused
extra problems? Yes, the wind is a significant hazard to us, it does
increase the intensity of the fire and the risk of any essential fire
spread through embers that leave the site and landing any neighbouring
properties. We do have it under control now, we are expecting the
winter died down throughout the night. Any idea what caused the
blaze? No, we don't know what has caused the fire at this moment, our
main priority is to get the fire under control, which we have done,
and then work with the site owners and ourselves to put it out. Will
the paper mill and nearby companies be able to operate tomorrow? It is
unlikely tomorrow, local businesses will still be affected, we offer our
apologies but for obvious safety reasons, we have two look at the
impact of the fire itself and the safety within regard to the
adjoining premises. Thank you very much for updating us.
The fire has closed the one of the main routes in and out of Birmingham
- the A47 Heartlands Parkway - in both directions since 10.30 last
night. The latest is that it's still closed between Saltley Viaduct and
Cuckoo Road. Tune into BBCWM for the latest travel news if you are
planning to travel around the area. Coming up later in the programme:
Written in the stars - a new type of cosmic explosion uncovered at
Police offficers are spending too much time dealing with people who
are mentally ill - they end up in the criminal system, when they
should be getting help elsewhere. That's the view of Staffordshire's
Crime Commissioner, who claims thousands of hours are being spent
on mental health issues which police aren't necessarily qualified to deal
with. Joanne Writtle reports. Too many people with mental health
problems are being criminalised when they need help elsewhere. That's the
claim of Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis.
He's commissioned a report, and says thousands of hours of police time
every year is being spent on mental health matters. We need better, more
focused services, which deal with things before they get out of hand.
At the moment, the police are having to take people into criminal
environments, custody suites, because there aren't always places
of safety for individuals that are ill. Our job is to protect life and
save life of these individuals are at their lowest point, they have it
crisis. We are the last resort. filmed here using police officers to
restage a typical scenario. Stoke-on-Trent's custody suite's one
of 20 in the UK to have a two-year pilot in which psychiatric nurses
work with police to help fast track those with mental problems out of
the criminal justice system. This woman is leading the project in
Stoke. It is important because it does divert people away from the
criminal justice route and helping them find support in the community,
they may need to find employment, register with a GP to get their
medication sorted, or help with accommodation. Since this pilot
began last June, 1,400 people have been assessed by nurses, with 400
being diverted away from the police cells to get help. Half of them
haven't re-offended since. Meanwhile, Staffordshire County
Council, the police and NHS are working together to address the
problem in various ways. Now we are looking at having nurses that could
potentially work on the front line with the officers, so going out on
the streets with police officers who are being called to distress calls
or mental health calls. It's hoped that nurses will eventually help in
custody elsewhere in Staffordshire, as work goes on to tackle the wider
problem. A breakdown in hand washing is the
most likely cause of an outbreak of a deadly superbug which killed two
babies and was found in four more in a premature baby unit. An inquest in
Stoke on Trent heard how the neo-natal intensive care unit was
isolated and new infection control measures bought in, after Jessica
Strong died last June from the rare superbug. We're joined now from
Stoke-on-Trent by our Health Correspondent, Michele Paduano. What
happened to this premature baby? Jessica Strong was actually born at
26 weeks in Nuneaton, and was transferred across to
Stoke-on-Trent. She was doing well at first, breathing on her own, but
on the 29th of June last year, she crashed and died suddenly before
they managed to establish that it really was this disease. The baby
had been transferred into the unit from Wales with the superbug, and
that particular baby, the family found out, had had that disease
passed on to five other babies and they are very upset. I don't believe
it has come from a parent, it is definitely come from a member of
staff. It has come from inside. one can ever bring our daughter
back, I am so upset. It does have -- had to come through West End, they
had to replace cleaning staff, and obviously I love my daughter
debates. God bless you. What more can you tell us about the superbug?
It actually lives in all of our guts, and for most of us it is
harmless most of the time, but this professor actually found the first
outbreak of this in 1984. We as microbiologists are always surveying
the top of bacteria causing infections so we will pick up a
first case, if we see that, we may institute control measures at that
point. Certainly if we get a second case, with molecular fingerprinting
we can show they are related and we can strengthen the controls,
involving hand washing, careful cleaning of cots and
decontamination. Has the hospital than anything since this outbreak?
Has -- the hospital says it has instituted a new cleaning regime and
is cleaning the cots in a different way. It also says it has two
infection control nurses and a quality nurse working with the
ward. They say they were devastated themselves and are now rolling out
what they have done as best practice across the rest of the country.
The Gloucestershire Coroner Alan Crickmore has appeared in court in
London, charged with fraud and theft offences worth nearly �4 million.
The 57-year-old solicitor from Cheltenham is accused of a total of
21 charges, some relating to the estates of people who had died
between 1998 and 2011. Today's hearing at City of Westminster
Magistrates court was adjourned until June, when it's expected he
will be committed to Crown Court for trial.
Kidderminster Harriers could be promoted to the Football League on
Saturday. If Mansfield fail to beat Wrexham, then Kidderminster can win
the Conference Premier title by beating struggling Stockport County.
If the Harriers miss out on the title, they could yet gain promotion
via the play-offs - a remarkable position to be in after a terrible
start to the season. Dan Pallett reports.
They were snapping into the tackles in training this morning. And not
surprising. Under manager Steve Burr, Kidderminster Harriers could
be one win from returning to the Football League. It would be
tremendous for a club like ours. They dropped out of the division a
view years ago, to get back in the division would be a fantastic
achievement. The supporters, the director, the chairman. It has been
an incredible season here. They lost their first five games and drew the
next five. Since then they have been on an incredible run, winning 27 out
of 35 games. If they win one more they will be back in the football
league. It's quite a story. So today the Kidderminster Shuttle published
a 20 page supplement dedicated to the Harriers. Reporter Pete McKinney
has covered them for five years. But he's never known it like this.
town are up for this, there is no doubt about it, a few years ago
Kidderminster Harriers were having severe financial problems, the town
rallied them to save them. Now the town is rallying because the
Harriers had given them something to get their teeth into. They have
given them something to get excited about. But they're not promoted just
yet. Kidderminster are second and only the champions will be promoted.
-goal victory against struggling Stockport then Kidderminster will be
promoted. It promises to be quite a day. Some players thrive off that, I
thrive off that. It would be nice to play in front of a view thousand, it
would be a first experience for me, night 13 years ago when the Harriers
were last promoted to the football league.
What a sensational season they have had.
There'll be full match commentary on Kidderminster's match against
Stockport on BBC Hereford and Worcester. Kick-off is 515 on
Saturday evening. Our top story tonight: An accident
averted - a train carrying aviation fuel is stopped from driving past
the scene of a massive fire at a London Marathon celebrates her 18th
birthday with a run. Ten years after his first appearance
on Midlands Today as a schoolboy, he is off to one of the best jazz
schools in the world. Astronomers from the University of Warwick have
found a new type of massive cosmic explosion. The researchers
discovered massive bursts of energy. They now think it is caused by a
huge star exploding at the end of its life. Our science correspondent
is with us now. Just how big are these exploding stars? They are
massive. Some of them at the end of their lives do not fizzle out, they
explode as a supernova. They produce lots of stuff including gammaray
bursts is. That is what the scientists have been studying with
NASA. I asked one of the researchers have big they are. They are as
energetic as you get. They release more energy in the time they are
bursting then the sun in its lifespan. How do they study the
stars? This is a rocket that was launched by NASA. It is a satellite.
It is up in space and it is looking for bursts of gammaray is from
supernovas. It has seen over 700 since its launch in 2004. It swiftly
can change direction to study it. Usually a gammaray burst is about
the a few seconds, a minute. The University of Warwick has noticed
that some have been going on for hours. This is something we never
knew happened before. This is really important research coming out of the
University. It is really exciting. We have got an artist 's impression
of how it might look. Those are the gammaray is pouring out and then it
suddenly goes supernova. If you were nearby, that is probably one of the
most spectacular things you could see anywhere in the universe.
from cosmic events, we are going to talk about Kenneth Branagh's pants.
The costumes being retrieved from the RSC's wardrobe collection.
It will give the public the opportunity to discover exactly how
the stars of the stage measure up. The hour has come, the very
minute... The critics were mesmerised by Patrick Stewart's
Prospero in the 2006 production of the Tempest. Now audiences have the
opportunity to see how his clothes were given me stranded arctic look.
All of this would be handcrafted by our department. To create the really
lived in feel. It has to be something that would last a year's
worth of performances. Although it looks distressed, it is robust
enough to be worn for eight performances a week. It gives the
block an opportunity to get up close to the wardrobes of the famous. --
the public. More than 30 eyes items are stored in the costume store.
Each offers a snapshot into the star's history. They work well on
their own but the whole point is that they were part of a production.
A small stitching army create and maintain hundreds of costumes every
year by hand. Brenda has worked here in Stratford for more than 40 years.
She has dressed them all and even had her name included on a cloak
worn by Derek Jacobi. We are all on here, all of the costume department.
I am just here. A bit of graffiti? ! Why not? Quite a compliment. Even if
nobody else sees it may you know it is there. The exhibition opens this
weekend to coincide with Shakespeare's birthday celebrations.
The London Marathon is only days away. Hundreds of people from across
the Midlands are getting ready to compete. One of the youngest will be
Alicia Forsyth-Forrest from Warwickshire who has just reached
the minimum age of 18 to take part. For many teenagers, turning 18 is
the excuse for a big party. But Alicia Forsyth-Forrest from
Warwickshire will be putting on her trainers and preparing to raise 26
miles around the streets of London. She will be the second youngest
runner in the marathon. To make things tougher, she has been fitting
training in around studying for her A-levels. It has been quite hard but
I have been working in the morning and running in the afternoon so it
has been all right. Security for Sunday's race has been stepped up
after the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon earlier this week which
killed three people and injured more than 170. But Alicia never
considered pulling out. I was very shocked to hear about Boston and my
thoughts are with them. It is really touching that we will have a 32nd
silence for them. I am proud to be running the London Marathon and
hopefully people will come out and celebrate. We are British and we
keep going. Obviously, I think is nothing more sad than hearing our
friends across the seas are as troubled as this. Of course, you are
concerned whenever any member of the family is in a big crowd. She was
inspired by the illness of a relative to raise money for the
Brain Research Trust. She certainly will not feel alone on the streets
of London. As well as her family, her entire class from school will be
there to cheer her on. Happy birthday and good luck to
Alicia! A group of celebrities in a pink Rolls-Royce have been in the
Midlands today as part of a charity challenge to raise �1 million for
Breast Cancer Care. Chris Evans, Gary Barlow, James May and Professor
Brian Cox are driving from Land's End to John O'Groats to help launch
the fundraising project. Everyone is bringing a personal touch to the
whole event but we are all driving are taking it in turns. Chris
started. Fell asleep at the wheel. We had a police escort when I was
driving. Gary has a gas, stove in the bank. We have had sausage
casserole already. We will have a curry in Carlisle. Ten years ago,
BBC Midlands today featured the story of Alex Woods a talented
saxophonist who was already playing in bars at the age of 12. Fast
forward a decade and his talent has grown and he has now been offered
the chance to study at possibly the best jazz school in the world.
There are not many young men who have their own jazz quartet but then
Alex Woods has always been cool. He started on the saxophone when he was
just nine. By the time he was 12, his dad was his agent and he was
playing in pubs and clubs for his pocket money, albeit with a few
reservations. When I am on stage, I do not want to be booed but
hopefully that will never happen. Has it happened? It is one of those
things you say that you should not say. There is still time! He won a
scholarship to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire and is now
on target to achieve first-class honours. He has been offered a place
to study in New York this September. Bidders for postgraduate study at
the Manhattan School of Music. It is a two-year course. It will be to
study at the school which is in the centre of New York. It should put me
in a great position for a successful career. He is highly creative and
has all of the skills you require of the profession as well. In terms of
reading and great sound and ensemble skills. I think his prospects are
very good. Quite how good audiences in New York will judge.
We have had brilliant sunshine today. Pouring rain. Winds. When is
winds last night. Showers today. Those take a back-seat for the
sunshine for the next couple of days. That takes centre stage.
Things will be looking largely drive. It will be cooler. What is
driving the changes is once this front passes through we have
pressure building from the south-west. The slackening isobars
mean lighter winds. High pressure dominating. Very nice for the first
half of the weekend. Then the next weather system comes in from the
west by the end of Sunday. This evening, a few showers affecting the
north and east of the region. These will clear in the next couple of
hours. For the first half of the night, fairly clear skies. The cloud
will thicken up ahead of the front I spoke of. That comes down from the
North West. That will introduce light rain to some areas. They can
start to tomorrow. For most of us could that should continue through
much of the day. There could be the odd shower which could be prolonged.
In the lighter winds, it will feel reasonably pleasant. Tomorrow
night, there could be a touch of Frost. Gardeners watch out. For the
weekend, Sunday, there could be rain later on in the day.