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Mystery surrounds fallen power tower

tower collapsed in pinjar wa
Police are stumped as to how, or why, anyone would bring down this 50m steel transmission tower in Perth's rural north.

Western Australian Police are stumped by a bizarre find in Perth’s rural outer north, with a large piece of power infrastructure felled.

The 50m tall power transmission tower, built and maintained by state utility Western Power, was brought down about 5pm on April 20 in Pinjar, knocking out electricity to a handful of businesses in the area.

But detectives are appealing for information from the public as they have no idea how — or why — anyone would destroy the piece of energy infrastructure.

tower collapsed in pinjar wa
Police are stumped as to how, or why, anyone would bring down this 50m steel transmission tower in Perth's rural north.

Detective Inspector Gary Butler fronted the media on Friday, where he admitted he’s at a loss to explain the incident.

“The suspects may have come back multiple times to damage the structure of the tower,” said Detective Inspector Butler.

“It’s a unique, once in a blue moon job. Fifty metre steel towers don’t collapse; they’re built to withstand cyclonic conditions.

“We’re seeking public support to anyone who may have witnessed anyone dressed in workman or technician gear in the area of Buloke Rd, Wandoo Rd, and Skink Rd,” he said, theorising they may have dressed as such so as not to raise suspicions.

Investigators are also working under the belief the perpetrators were either on the site for a long time tampering with the structure, or made multiple shorter trips some time between April 1 and 20.

“In relation to motive, we have no idea,” he said, describing the possibilities as a “myriad of motives.”

Detective Inspector Butler believes it’s an Australian-first case.

“As far as we’re aware, it’s never happened in Australia. It’s happened in a couple of countries overseas, but my understanding that was to steal the copper.”

wa police detective inspector Gary Butler
Detective Inspector Gary Butler believes this is the first crime of its sort ever in Australia. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Anthony Anderson

It’s believed the person or persons responsible had some technical knowledge, enabling them to avoid electrocution, and had used tools to weaken the integrity of the tower.

Officers have carried out doorknocks and are examining CCTV from the area, however, the rural nature of the area means there are no homes nearby.

Western Power said the act was “incredibly dangerous.”

“The damage to the tower resulted in a power supply interruption to a small number of industrials customers,” said a Western Power spokesperson.

“There was no impact to residential or small business customers. Western Power has undertaken

works to restore supply to these customers.

“Western Power is working with WA Police, who are investigating the incident.

“This was an incredibly dangerous act, and could have resulted in serious injury or death to those involved.”

Police want anyone who observed any vehicles or individuals in the vicinity of Buloke, Wandoo, or Skink Roads between April 1 and 20 to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or make an anonymous report online.