Olympic Torch is snuffed out – but the flame burns on

THE Olympic torch was briefly snuffed out yesterday. The torch was attached to the side of para-badminton player David Follett’s wheelchair in the Devon town of Great Torrington when the flame went out shortly before 10am.

Games organisers blamed a malfunctioning burner, and quickly replaced the flame with one lit from the “source” in Olympia, Greece. A spokeswoman for LOCOG said: “The flame went out due to a malfunctioning burner. It is not uncommon for a flame to go out.”

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A replacement torch was brought out from the convoy of vehicles and was lit from the mother flame, and organisers made clear the source of the fire was protected at all times.

The flame is supposed to remain alight even in high winds because of a gas burner system held in the centre of the torch which emits a gas mix that optimises flame height, colour and luminosity.

Mr Follett was given a replacement torch and the relay continued on its 70-day, 8,000-mile trip.