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Summary

  1. Huge scrapyard blaze breaks out
  2. Academy governors 'would be removed'
  3. Blind man has acid squirted in eyes
  4. Villa turn to former FA man Bevington
  5. Updates on Tuesday 29 March 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Updates on scrapyard fire, plus more news

That's it for live updates. You can keep up to date on the Saltley scrapyard blaze on BBC Midlands Today at 18:30 and 22:30.

BBC WM will also have the latest news.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Video: Latest weather forecast for Birmingham & the Black Country

Charlie Slater has the latest forecast for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Recycling site fire seen for miles

Caroline Gall

BBC News Online

The fire service said crews were working in dangerous conditions.

Overhead picture of the fire
West Midlands Fire Service

Britain's largest 'super jail' to get bigger

Five-hundred extra prisoners will be moved to a prison near Wolverhampton, which means inmate numbers there will climb to more than 2,000.

HMP Oakwood is already Britain's largest 'super jail' and will get bigger from July.

HMP Oakwood
BBC

We are committed to making best use of our prison estate, in order to properly rehabilitate offenders and maximise value for the taxpayer. That is why HMP Oakwood will soon accommodate additional prisoners to make use of vacant places

SpokespersonMinistry of Justice

Scrapyard blaze: Fire service interview

The fire service says it's too early to say how the fire started at the scrapyard in Saltley.

It's a large fire involving two large piles of recycling around 10 metres in height. About 50% of the piles are well alight. We have platforms and jets in-use trying to put the fires out. The fire is directly underneath an electric pylon so we're looking at isolating the electric in the surrounding area later on.

Neil JohnstonStation commander, West Midlands Fire Service

The fire service says it would be at the scene for "a number of days" damping down.

View more on twitter

Your photos: Recycling plant fire

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Michael Rooney emailed BBC News these two photos of the scrapyard fire, taken from a passing train.

The fire happened at EMR Birmingham, a metal recycling centre.

Scrapyard blaze
Michael Rooney
Scrapyard blaze
Michael Rooney

Drone footage: Scrapyard blaze

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

West Midlands Fire Service's drone captured this footage.

View more on youtube

Recycling site fire: National Grid at the scene

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today reporter

There are huge flames and plumes of black smoke coming from the fire, with more engines arriving at the scene every few minutes.

Seventeen are now on site - with three raised platforms. 

National Grid is here because of concerns about a gas main, and there are two rail lines nearby.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and there are no reports of any injuries.

View more on twitter

Watch: Fight to stop flames from spreading

West Midlands fire service has sent this footage of the scrapyard blaze.

Scrapyard fire: No casualties reported

Chris Blakemore

BBC WM

More than 100 firefighters are now dealing with a fire at a scrapyard in Saltley.

West Midlands Fire Service has told us there are no signs of any casualties. 

Callers to BBC WM have told us the plumes of smoke can be seen from as far away as Cannock.

View more on twitter

Scrapyard fire: View from fire service drone

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

More than 100 firefighters are now at the scene of a scrapyard blaze in Saltley.

This photo was taken by the emergency service's drone.

View more on twitter

Plea for people to stop reporting fire

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Many people have got in touch with us over the past few hours to report the black smoke which can be seen for miles.

The emergency services are urging people to stop reporting the fire, after receiving more than 100 999 calls.

View more on twitter
Fire in Birmingham
Andi Smith

Large blaze at metal recycling site

BBC News England

Read more on BBC News about 800 tonnes of metal and plastic on fire at a scrapyard in Birmingham.

The scene
West Midlands Fire Service

Watch: Scrapyard fire footage from passing train

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

BBC journalist Steve Beech took this footage of the scrapyard fire as the train he was travelling on went past the scene.

Scrapyard fire: Video from the scene

Landor Street, in Saltley, is closed due to the nearby fire.

BBC Midlands Today cameraman Andy Grindley tweeted this video from the scene.

View more on twitter

Scrapyard fire: BBC reporter at the scene

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today reporter

I've just arrived at the scene of a scrapyard blaze in Saltley.

Firefighters are hard at work trying to contain the blaze from spreading.

A second aerial platform is now in use to tackle the flames from above.

Fire in Saltley
BBC

Scrapyard fire: Video taken at the scene

An aerial platform, a high volume water pumping unit and drone are at the scene of a scrapyard blaze in Birmingham.

The fire service says it's had more than 20 calls from people reporting the blaze, which can be seen for miles across the city.

The fire service is asking people to avoid the area and close all windows and door if nearby.  

View more on twitter

The fire service has added a number of photos to its Facebook page.

Scrapyard fire: 70-plus firefighters at the scene

More than 70 firefighters are now tackling the blaze at a scrapyard in Birmingham, West Midlands Fire Service says.

A spokesman for the fire service says 800 tonnes of mixed metal and plastic are on fire at the site on Clarel Avenue in Saltley.

There are currently 12 fire engines at the scene. 

Scrapyard fire in Saltley
West Midlands Fire Service
Scrapyard blaze in Saltley
West Midlands Fire Service

Video: Large plumes of smoke

Large plumes of smoke can be seen from miles away as firefighters tackle a scrapyard blaze.

BBC WM journalist Kevin Pashby tweeted this video...

View more on twitter

Photo: Birmingham scrapyard fire

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The latest photo from the fire service shows the blaze close-up on Clarel Avenue.

West Midlands Fire Service is advising residents nearby to keep windows and doors closed.

Clarel Avenue scrap yard blaze, Birmingham
West Midlands Fire Service

BreakingFirefighters tackle scrapyard fire in Birmingham

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Firefighters are tackling a blaze at a scrapyard in Birmingham.

West Midlands Fire Service says it received a 999 call to Clarel Avenue in Saltley at about 14:00.

I'm told there are eight fire engines at the scene.

We'll bring you more details when we have them.

View more on twitter

Speedway: Wolves cancel meeting

Mikey Burrows

BBC WM Sport

Cradley started the new speedway season with a 51-39 home win over Belle Vue Colts last night. 

Tonight, Wolves' meeting with Belle Vue Aces has been cancelled.

The club says a poor weather forecast led to the decision and it is "to minimise the inconvenience for all parties - riders, staff, fans and sponsors".

Video: Wolverhampton bridge replacement

Network Rail used one of the biggest cranes in the UK to install and replace a new canal bridge at Wolverhampton.

View more on youtube

500 more inmates at HMP Oakwood 'superjail'

Express and Star

Five hundred extra prisoners will be moved to HMP Oakwood with inmate numbers hitting more than 2,000, it has been revealed.

HMP Oakwood
Express and Star

Latest headlines: Man in stable condition after drive-by shooting; Ex-FA boss joins Villa

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories for Birmingham and the Black Country this lunchtime include:

- A man remains in a stable condition in hospital after he was shot in the leg in what police believe was a targeted drive-by shooting in Handsworth Wood.

- Police are appealing for information after a blind man was subjected to an acid attack in Halesowen

- The former Football Association executive Adrian Bevington has taken on a new role at Aston Villa

Sandwell Council leader dies aged 52: Town centre legacy

Rob Mayor

Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

The leader of Sandwell Council, Darren Cooper, died suddenly over the Easter weekend.  

Described by some as a "true son of Sandwell", Darren Cooper became a councillor in 1991 and took over as leader in 2009.

One of his biggest achievements as leader was the revamp of West Bromwich town centre.

Well thought of in the Labour party, he was widely expected to try to become the party’s candidate for a future elected mayor of the West Midlands.

The last time I spoke to him a few weeks ago, he told me the idea of such a big job was exciting, but he was still considering what impact it would have on his wife and three children.

Man shot in leg in 'targeted' Birmingham drive-by shooting

Police are investigating after a man was shot on a Birmingham street in a drive-by shooting.

A shot was fired from a vehicle in Handsworth Wood just after 05:00 on Monday in what West Midlands Police believe was a targeted attack.

The 27-year-old was wounded in the leg and remains in a stable condition in hospital.

Birmingham dancer joins Mary Poppins on tour

BBC Midlands Today

A dancer from Walsall has been picked to perform in the biggest touring show in Europe.

Jabari Braham (pictured), who trained at the Arabesque Dance Academy in Birmingham, is taking part in the UK tour of Mary Poppins, which runs until January next year.

Jabari Braham
BBC

The show is his first professional musical performance.  

Ex-FA boss joins Aston Villa

Former FA executive Adrian Bevington is now working with Aston Villa, the club confirms.  

Adrian Bevington
Former FA executive

He was the Managing Director of Club England and worked with many managers and coaches during his 17 years at The FA. More recently he has worked with several clubs and the Welsh FA and I'm convinced his experience, contacts and understanding of football will be a tremendous asset to Aston Villa Football Club

David BernsteinAston Villa director

New railway bridge installed at Wolverhampton

There were severe delays over the Easter break on the railways as major works were carried out.

Many trains through Wolverhampton were affected this morning as work continued on new tracks and a new bridge being installed.

A rather happy Network Rail team tweeted....

View more on twitter

Scale of cuts to libraries unveiled

The number of paid staff working in UK libraries has fallen by almost 8,000 since 2010, as the number of volunteers has soared, a BBC investigation finds.

Birmingham's £189m library had to shed staff and reduce hours within two years of opening

Since 2010 in Birmingham, one library and/or mobile library has closed.

Also, there were 353 paid staff in libraries, compared with 194 now.

The council had two unpaid volunteers in 2010 and has 46 volunteers today.

Latest headlines: 80+ young people charged with firearms offences in three years; vigil held for Lahore victims

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories on Tuesday 29 March include:

- More than 80 young people have been charged with firearms offences by West Midlands Police in the last three years, a freedom of information request shows

- A vigil's been held in Birmingham this evening for the victims of the suicide bomb attack in Lahore

- The Birmingham Bears are due to announce their plans for the new cricket T20 season at Edgbaston this evening

Video: Vigil for Lahore bomb attack victims held

A vigil's been held in Birmingham for the victims of the suicide bomb attack in Lahore. 

The organisers of the multi-faith event yesterday evening said they wanted to show their solidarity with the people of Pakistan after a faction of the Taliban attacked families at a playground on Easter Sunday, killing 70 and injuring scores more.

Syed Ahmed Maroof, consul general of Pakistan in Birmingham, spoke at the vigil.

Vigil held in Birmingham for the victims of Lahore bomb attack