Northern Ireland

Belfast bonfires to be inspected after boy is injured

Cameron Dickson, nine, was treated in intensive care Image copyright Dickson family
Image caption Cameron Dickson, nine, was treated in intensive care

Bonfires across Belfast are to be inspected in the wake of injuries sustained by a nine-year-old schoolboy near a bonfire site in west Belfast.

Cameron Dickson was critically ill after coming into contact with toxic chemicals dumped at a site bonfire site near the Shankill Road.

His family have said he is now off a ventilator but remains in a "serious but stable" condition in hospital.

The inspections will focus on chemicals that may pose a risk to public safety.

News of the bonfire inspections is contained in a memo sent to all Belfast city councillors.

Image caption Police cleared the scene at Glenwood Street off the Shankill Road

It states: "Council officers (including technical officers) and PSNI will deploy extra resources to carry out joint visits to all bonfire sites across the city in the coming days with a view to identifying any visible, immediate or acute chemical public health risks."

Bonfires are a long-held tradition in loyalist communities across Northern Ireland, and they are lit on 11 July every year to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Many children and young people spend months gathering wood, rubbish and other materials to build bonfires on waste ground within their communities.

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