Moment giant bonfire collapses in Northern Ireland

Patricia Devlin

A bonfire in Portadown, Co Armagh collapsed last night as spectators watched on.

In a video, dozens of people can be seen running away from the massive flames which almost toppled down onto them.

The Friday bonfire was part of a number of loyalist bonfires that were and will be lit over the weekend in Northern Ireland ahead of the July 12 parades.

This is because traditionally the night for the pyres to be lit is July 11, the day before the parades. However, that falls on a Sunday this year, when many would prefer not to be lighting bonfires.

Yesterday, NI Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill told the News Letter: “I think we’re always concerned at this time of year, but I hope that common sense prevails. I hope we don’t have disruption.

“People are more than entitled to celebrate their culture and I wish them well with all of that, but culture isn’t bonfires and culture isn’t other communities feeling under attack.

“I hope that there is a peaceful weekend ahead.”

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