Children panic as giant robot dinosaur bursts into flames

Ashton Court: Aftermath of dinosaur explosion

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A dinosaur statue caught fire yesterday after an “accidental ignition”.

The structure, powered by puppetry and mechanics, caught alight in Ashton Court, west Bristol at around 11am.

Firefighters doused the blaze but the dinosaur, which was a diplocodus and was 10 metres long (33ft) and six metre (19ft) tall, is severely damaged.

It was one of around 50 dinosaurs, including T-Rexes, and a shreiking Pterosaurus, which were supposed to be part of a Jurassic Encounter exhibit.

A spokesperson for Avon Fire Rescue Service told Bristol Live the blaze was “easily put out”.

A statement from the fire service said: “Crews from Bedminster and Temple we called to reports of a fire at Ashton Court at 10:55. On arrival crews found the diplodocus in the dinosaur display was on fire. The diplodocus was 10 meters long and 6 meters tall.

“One firefighter wearing breathing apparatus and a high-pressure hose extinguished the fire. The cause of the incident is thought to have been accidental ignition.”

Dark smoke billowed across Bristol moments after the fire.

Claire Fenella, who works in education, tweeted a photograph of the burning structure.

She posted: “At @Ashton_Court_ and one of the dinosaurs is on fire! Two fire engines here.”

Another Twitter user said: “Big fire over or in Ashton Court?”

Childminder Claire Etherington, who was there, said: “All of a sudden dark plumes of smoke rose above the trees.”

She was with a group of children at the time.

“I took the children to Ashton Court this morning to see them setting up the dinosaurs,” she told BBC.

“We went over to look and saw the burning diplodocus – two fire engines arrived and a firefighter used a hose to put out the fire.”

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