The Olympic flame went out today for the first time during the torch relay around Britain ahead of the London Games.

Organisers blamed a "malfunctioning burner" for the incident on day three of the 70-day relay.

The torch was attached to 23-year-old David Follett's wheelchair when it went out on its way from Exeter to Taunton in southwest England.

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 re-lit 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 sees 113 people carry the Olympic torch over 217km.

The flame was lit in a grand ceremony on 10 May in Olympia, Greece.