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Melbourne fire: Counter-terrorism police investigating mobile phone tower blaze in Cranbourne West, checking for link to 5G conspiracy theorists

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Counter-terrorism police are investigating if a huge blaze at a Melbourne mobile phone tower was the work of conspiracy theorists.

The investigation comes after phone towers overseas were targeted by activists who believe they spread coronavirus.

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A 20m tall phone tower was ablaze dangerously close to homes in Cranbourne West on Thursday night.

“A massive big line of fire, running up the side of the tower,” witness Graham Brammall said.

“A lot of flames on the tower, most of it was just the wire burning.”

The overnight rain was a saving grace for stopping the blaze from becoming catastrophic.

The fire.
The fire. Credit: 7NEWS

The effort to fight the fire at the phone tower was difficult and dangerous.

The high voltage power lines had to be shut down before crews could begin to battle the blaze.

The overnight rain was a saving grace for stopping the blaze from becoming catastrophic.

“Certainly, if something like this happened in summer, a fire like that certainly could have spread to a grass fire relatively easily,” CPA Commander Stuart Walker said.

The fire.
The fire. Credit: 7NEWS

Telstra has said it’s treating the blaze with the utmost seriousness.

Counter-terrorism police have been brought in, following international attacks on phone towers linked to conspiracy theories that the 5G network spreads coronavirus.

“Fires involving any type of electricity, and particularly high voltage electricity, are quite challenging,” Walker said.

The fire.
The fire. Credit: 7NEWS

“Not only being able to put the water where it needs to get to, but to ensure the safety of our crews.”

The damage bill for the blaze is set to reach $250,000.

It comes just days after a study revealed one in eight Australians believe the 5G wireless network is to blame for spreading COVID-19.

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Hazelwood power station to be demolished

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Victoria’s defunct Hazelwood Power Station is about to be demolished, with site owner Engie assuring locals that asbestos inside its chimneys will not be a threat.

Engie unveiled its plan to detonate the station’s eight 137m chimneys in an online presentation for the Latrobe Valley community on Thursday evening.

Demolition manager Tom McDowall said that after a thorough risk assessment process, the company had decided that “controlled collapse”, or detonation, was the safest option.

The chimneys will be blown up one by one, four seconds apart, with the collapse of all eight expected to be complete within five minutes.

The Hazelwood power station and diary cattle are seen in the La Trobe Valley in Morwell. (File image)
The Hazelwood power station and diary cattle are seen in the La Trobe Valley in Morwell. (File image) Credit: JULIAN SMITH/AAPIMAGE

There is about 50kg of asbestos in each chimney and about 12 tonnes of concrete.

Community members voiced concerns about the spread of asbestos from the explosions during the live Facebook forum.

Mr McDowall said the detonations would not fragment the asbestos and that it would stay contained upon demolition.

“It’s a bonded product, it’s not a fragmentation product, it’s secure within its structure,” he said.

“It then hits the ground and becomes an asbestos product on the ground.”

Mr McDowall said great care would be taken to conduct the demolition in prime weather conditions – a south-east to north-east direction with low wind speed – to control dust and plume from the explosions.

The site will be monitored for asbestos following the demolition in line with state laws.

The chimneys are expected to be demolished in late May or June.

Engie has been managing a process of retiring the brown-coal fuelled power station since it closed in 2017, with the ultimate goal to rehabilitate the 4000 hectare site.

The site has been a headache for the Latrobe Valley community since 2014, when a bushfire spread to the coal mine and burned for 45 days.

Hazelwood Power Corporation was fined $1.56 million on Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Victoria for putting employees and nearby residents at risk by failing to prepare for the fire.

In the video below: Police investigate mobile tower blaze

Counter terrorism police are investigating if a huge blaze in a Cranbourne West mobile tower was the work of conspiracy theorists.

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Taxi driver after fare-dodger spat at him and said he had coronavirus

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Taxi driver Trevor Belle was spat at by a man who owed him £9 and died less than a month later
Trevor Belle was spat at by a man who owed him £9 and died less than a month later

A taxi driver died with coronavirus after being spat at by a fare-dodger who claimed to have the disease, a family friend has said.

Trevor Belle, 61, died in the Royal London Hospital on April 18, having tested positive for Covid-19. Several weeks earlier, the east Londoner had been spat at by a passenger who owed him £9, according to his friend Damian Briggs.

After the incident in Stratford on March 22, Mr Belle began to feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus, Mr Briggs explained: ‘A few days later he got rushed into hospital, he spent three weeks battling it and unfortunately didn’t make it to the end.’

The new grandfather died three days after his 61st birthday, and his friend added: ‘It’s devastating that he’s caught it doing his job.’

After his death, Mr Belle’s blood was donated to research into the effects of Covid-19 in people from BAME communities, Mr Briggs said, as he paid tribute to his ‘die-hard Arsenal supporter’ friend.

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He described them as ‘not blood brothers, but we are brothers’.

He said: ‘He loves the game, he loves Arsenal, he loves supporting to see kids do really well in the game. He did a lot of volunteering stuff.’

A GoFundMe page for Mr Belle has now raised £6,000 – double its target – to cover the costs of a funeral and ‘celebration of his life’.

Mr Briggs added: ‘Best way I can describe Trev is just a jovial person who, as serious as life is, would always find a way to get a smile on your face so you can take your mind off the problem.

‘It was very rare you saw something that bothered this guy. No matter how bad it was, he always found a way to have a laugh and chuckle.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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Source: Metro News

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Eaton death: Homicide detectives investigate after man with ‘significant injuries’ found dead

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Homicide detectives are investigating after a man was found dead in Western Australia’s south-west region.

Police were called to the property in the Bunbury suburb of Eaton on Thursday night and found a man deceased.

WA Police were met with what they described as a “confronting situation” after receiving multiple calls from the public.

“Police were called to a residence on Cleveland Bay Avenue around 8.20pm last night (21 May 2020), where they located the man deceased,” WA Police said in a statement.

A man in his 40s, who is said to have been known to the victim, is currently assisting police with the investigation.

South West District Superintendent Geoff Stewart spoke to reporters on Friday, explaining significant injuries were involved.

“As I said, it was a very confronting situation, not only for police but for the people that would have come out and seen it,” he said.

“There were significant injuries involved, I won’t go into exactly the types of things that were used, but I can say items have been seized.”

– with AAP

In the video below: WA rejects appeal to open borders

WA Premier Mark McGowan is refusing to open WA’s state borders to the rest of the country

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