Coronavirus: Mobile phone masts set ablaze and engineers abused over 5G conspiracy theory
4 April 2020, 12:25 | Updated: 4 April 2020, 12:37
Engineers are being abused in the street and mobile phone masts are being set on fire over false theories that link coronavirus to 5G.
Mobile network providers and the government have had to issue a warning against the spread of the conspiracy theory after pictures of burning masts were posted on social media.
Mobile UK, the body that represents mobile providers, said the false rumours and theories were "concerning".
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it was "aware of inaccurate information being shared online about 5G".
"There is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus," it added.
Mobile UK said it is "concerning that certain groups are using the Covid-19 pandemic to spread false rumours and theories about the safety of 5G technologies".
"More worryingly some people are also abusing our key workers and making threats to damage infrastructure under the pretence of claims about 5G," a statement said.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it extinguished a 5G mast tower fire near the M57 motorway on Friday night.
We are aware of inaccurate information being shared online about 5G. There is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus— DCMS (@DCMS) April 3, 2020
For COVID-19 advice:
👉Full Fact research https://t.co/QWYcc4bOEg
West Midlands Fire Service put out a fire in Birmingham on Thursday at the top of a 70ft tower on a telecommunications site.
The service said the cause was yet to be identified and they did not know if it was a 5G mast.
Facebook has been forced to take down a page encouraging people to set fire to 5G masts.
A video has also gone viral showing a woman confronting two workers laying a fibre optic cable in a street in London.
In the clip, which has been viewed millions of times, the woman challenges the men who are laying fibre optic cable, which does not carry 5G, accusing them of not being key workers. Telecoms engineers are key workers under the government's guidelines.
In the video, the woman says: “You know when they turn this on, it’s going to kill everyone, and that’s why they’re building the hospitals.
"Do you have children, do you have parents? When they turn that switch on, bye bye momma. Are they paying you well enough to kill people?”
The engineers were praised for their calm response.
Experts have commented that coronavirus has spread widely in the world in countries where there is no 5G network.