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Flame goes out for first time in 2012 relay

MYT 8:30:02 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - The Olympic flame went out on Monday for the first time during the torch relay around Britain ahead of the London Games because of a "malfunctioning burner", organisers said.

The torch was attached to 23-year-old David Follett's wheelchair went it went out on its way from Exeter to Taunton in southwest England on the third day of the 70-day relay.

The torch design had been tested at BMW's climatic centre in Munich to ensure it could stay alight in all weather conditions.

"It is not uncommon for a flame to go out and this can happen for a number of reasons, for example, in extreme winds," the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said in a statement.

Organisers carried a mother flame in a vehicle behind the torchbearer and relit the torch in "a matter of a few minutes", a London 2012 spokesman said.

"This is something that has been practised time and time again," he said, adding that organisers thought the replacement had gone smoothly.

Monday's leg of the relay will see 113 people carry the Olympic torch over 135 miles (217 km).

(Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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