- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Officials at an Anchorage air field had to briefly reroute traffic follow the release of paper lanterns during an interfaith event in the area.

The lantern release - during an event in support of victims of domestic violence - came as a surprise to Anchorage police, who said lanterns appeared in the path of airplane traffic at Merrill Field on Thursday night.

Police received calls about rerouted planes and a lantern landing on a vehicle, Sgt. Shaun Henry told the Alaska Dispatch News (http://bit.ly/10rQI4T ).

“We had a car on the Glenn Highway going about 70 mph that almost crashed,” Henry said.

No injuries or accidents were reported. Police spokeswoman Dani Myren said no citations were issued.

“I think the intent was honorable, but certainly with something like this - particularly if it’s going to be close to traffic or potentially aircraft flight patterns - it might have to be rethought,” Myren said.

Lanterns were released around 8 p.m. after the “Shed the Light” event at St. Anthony Catholic Church in East Anchorage.

Jenny Michaelson, with the Archdiocese of Anchorage, said the church has participated in similar events in the past though none so close to the airport’s flight path. She said the lantern launch was meant as part of a positive community event and that no harm was meant.

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, http://www.adn.com

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