Hackney authority bans Jewish Community Council event requests

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Media captionTen people were hurt after a bonfire exploded at a Jewish festival

An authority has banned event requests from the Jewish Community Council (JCC) after a bonfire exploded at a festival.

Ten people suffered minor injuries when a bonfire exploded at a Jewish festival in Stamford Hill on Thursday. It is unclear what caused the blast.

Hackney Council did not know the JCC was planning to build a bonfire and in doing so the organisation “displayed a shocking disregard for the safety”.

The BBC has contacted the JCC for a response.

A Hackney Council spokesman said the authority will not be allowing any event or road closure request from the JCC while investigations take place.

‘Sheer luck’

Some attendees of the commemoration event outside a synagogue suffered burns to their faces, London Fire Brigade said.

Hackney Council said the JCC applied for permission to close the street – but did not mention building a bonfire in the middle of the road.

“Needless to say we would never have given permission for a bonfire to be lit in the street – so it appears the organisers have misled the council in failing to disclose the true nature of the event,” Kim Wright, group director neighbourhoods and housing, said.

“The organisers displayed a shocking disregard for the safety of local residents and the attendees, which, according to the video I have seen, included young children.

“It is sheer luck that no one was seriously injured, or worse.”

There are reports fuel was poured on the fire while others say at least one mobile phone was put into the fire.

Jewish news website The Yeshiva World reported “shrieks and panic” after the explosion, said to have happened as a bonfire was lit to celebrate the Lag B’Omer Jewish holiday.

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