According to this article via WCCO, according to the State Fire Marshall, the lanterns shown above (more than 11,000 set aloft at once in Poland) are illegal in Minnesota and should be removed from store shelves immediately.
From the article:
Sky lanterns have already caused fires in other states, including one that turned deadly for a 10-year-old boy.
And they’re illegal in Minnesota.
Rosendahl wrote the Minnesota Retailers Association, hoping leaders would share his safety concerns with their 1,500 members.
He wants stores to voluntarily remove these items from their shelves before a Minnesotan gets hurt.
“It’s a dangerous situation waiting to happen,” he said.
While Lazy Lightning was unable to find reports of human death as a result of Chinese lanterns, there have been plenty of articles (here’s one) penned regarding the deaths of livestock and the destruction of property and farm fields due to their launches and later coming back to the ground as a wire shell enticing cows to consume them and cause digestive problems.
While we know the governor believes Minnesotans are not able to care for themselves without the State watching over them and thus fireworks must remain illegal (and yes, they are banned in Minnesota by statute), based on the millons of these that are launched every year and the few issues that result, is banning them in other areas which do allow them really the answer?
Are you surprised that the State Fire Marshall is taking the approach he is to have them removed from store shelves? Should another method be utilized to stop the sale of them across the State? Have you ever used a Chinese lantern yourself? Do you think they are as dangerous to human and livestock lives as the State Fire Marshall and others want you to believe? Should one death be the reason they are no longer available? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.