London : Olympic torch chiefs were left in a state of turmoil after they could not reignite the flame after it blew out during its tour of Scotland.
A blast of wind killed the flame just as the latest leg of the relay was due to begin on the rocky Isle of Lewis.
The desperation among the organizers grew when an effort to spark it up with the back-up lantern failed at the Callanish Stones burial ground, which was the starting point of yesterday’s mammoth 400-mile trek.
The officials then tried to shelter the torch behind the ancient monument in a vain bid to get it going, but when that didn’t work, they had to make a 30-mile dash back to Stornoway to pick up the mother flame.
“To say it was an anti-climax is an understatement. But it was quite funny. The organizers were in a real flap,” an onlooker told sources.
“I guess the flame has gone out before but it’s been easy to relight using the back-up lantern. Not today, though. It was a bit of a mission to get it going again,” the onlooker added.
Numerous attempts to relight the fire failed, while lone piper Anna Fraser and the anxious crowd could only look on.
The mother flame finally arrived an hour later and the torch was lit for running legend Kirsty Wade.