A 5G tower in Liverpool has been attacked and badly damaged in an arson attack just days after it was erected.
Firefighters were called to the blaze in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, shortly before midnight on Tuesday, the BBC reported.
People nearby reportedly heard a “loud bang” and saw flames and smoke coming from the base of the phone mast. Merseyside Fire Service has confirmed the fire was started deliberately.
A man in dark clothing was seen at the mast shortly before the fire and left on an electric bicycle, police told the BBC.
“These are challenging times for everyone, and members of the public are more dependant than ever on technology such as mobile phones to keep in touch with their friends and family,” Det Sgt Richie Shillito, of Merseyside Police reportedly said
“For many vulnerable people isolating and shielding, it is their only means of contact with the outside world,” he added. “People may also need to use their phone to contact the emergency services, and extremely reckless acts like this could leave them with no signal and put someone’s life at risk.”
At the weekend a 5G mobile phone mast was deliberately set on fire in Derby.
The incident follows a rash of attacks on phone masts over Easter weekend, with at least 20 fires reported.
Another 20 or more mast fires had been reported the previous week, many clustered in Liverpool and the West Midlands, but also as far apart as Huddersfield and Dagenham, Essex. Earlier this month, a 47-year-old man was told he faced a jail term after he pleaded guilty to an arson attack on a mast in Kirkby (Merseyside).
The fires destroyed equipment used by hospitals and emergency services, while some of the masts damaged supported only non-5G mobile equipment or even fixed phone lines, BT chief executive Philip Jansen said in an article in the Mail on Sunday at the time.
Attackers have reportedly attached barbed wire to telephone poles or placed razor blades behind anti-5G posters.
Engineers have also been attacked and verbally abused over the issue.
The fires are thought to be motivated by fears that 5G mobile technology presents a danger to public health and may have helped the coronavirus to spread, theories condemned by experts.
To help combat the spread, YouTube and Twitter banned all conspiracy theory videos that falsely link 5G networks to the spread of Coronavirus.
ITV’s This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes, last month cast doubts on media reports that debunk the false rumour that 5G causes the virus “when they don’t know it’s not true.”
He faced hundreds of complaints and Ofcom investigated. The television presenter later issued a half hearted retraction. Ofcom later concluded his comments were “ill judged”.
Previously an American singer/songwriter claimed 5G networks were to blame for the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. She subsequently retracted her claims.
Other celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon, including Amanda Holden who tweeted a link to an anti-5G petition to her almost 2 million followers.
Boxer Amir Khan, actor Woody Harrelson, and even conspiracy theorist David Icke have published similar claims. Indeed, Icke had live-streamed an interview on YouTube, in which he had linked the technology to the pandemic.
Experts at the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) this year declared that 5G was safe for human health.
ICNIRP is based in Germany, and it is the international body in charge of setting limits on exposure to radiation.
Ofcom also recently carried out safety tests in the UK of 5G base stations and found that there is no danger to the public posed by electromagnetic energy (EME) levels.
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