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PSNI say no criminal offences identified at teenage blaze pyre

A teenager was burned after being set ablaze at an Eleventh Night bonfire in the Silverstream area of north Belfast
Connla Young

THE PSNI has said that no criminal offences have been identified after a teenager was engulfed in flames at an Eleventh Night bonfire.

It is understood the 17-year-old is remains in critical but stable condition after being set ablaze at the pyre in the Silverstream Crescent area of north Belfast.

The Irish News later revealed that the pyre was one of several considered by Belfast City Council to be a potential threat to life and property.

It is believed concerns had been raised about the proximity of the bonfire to nearby homes.

It is understood that when the PSNI were consulted they claimed that there were criminal elements associated with the LVF in the vicinity of the bonfire and advised council chiefs not to attempt to remove it.

Sources later said that in advance of the bonfire, police confirmed to councillors they were carrying out an evidence gathering operation at the site.

The PSNI later refused to confirm if an evidence gathering operation was in place at the site before the teenager received his life threatening injuries.

In a statement last night a spokesman said no offences have been identified.

"Police investigations are based on reasonable suspicion of an actual or possible crime," he said.

"Having carried out a range of enquiries in respect of this incident no criminal offences have been identified."

It is understood the teenager was standing on the pyre while holding a container of petrol when he was injured.

Although the bonfire site is owned by the Housing Executive, they say it has been leased to Belfast City Council.

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