Two more fires at cellphone towers, adding to series of suspected attacks

12:08 pm on 17 May 2020

There have been another two fires at cell phone towers in Auckland overnight.

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File image. Photo: 123rf

Police are investigating the fires in the suburbs of Weymouth and Clendon, which happened about 11pm last night.

It brings the total of suspected attacks on towers to 17 over the past two months.

Yesterday, an investigation was launched following another suspicious fire near a cell phone tower in Wellington.

Fire and Emergency was called to the 4G tower in Porirua at about 2.20am on Saturday to extinguish a blaze in the gully near the site.

Telecommunications Forum chief executive Geoff Thorn said the attacks were a concerning trend that was putting lives at risk.

"We're not sure what the motivation of these attacks is, but whatever it is, it's putting lives potentially at risk because all of the damage that is happening to the cell towers is preventing people potentially from making calls to 111 emergency services."

An attack on a tower in the Auckland suburb of Mangere on 14 May caused an

outage in the surrounding area.

Any suspicious behaviour near cell phone towers should be reported, Thorn said.

In Britain, dozens of cellphone towers have been set alight, reportedly by people who believe the unproven theory that 5G technology is helping to spread the Covid-19 coronavirus.

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