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Elk Valley RCMP investigating last week’s major telecoms outage

Police are looking for any information on a suspected accident that caused a major internet and cellular service outage in Sparwood and Elkford last week.

Elk Valley RCMP officials said the outage started shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and impacted areas just north of Hosmer, through to Sparwood to Elkford.

Investigators believe the outage was caused by an oversized vehicle travelling along Highway 3 just north of Hosmer before striking a Telus line which crossed above the highway.

RCMP officials said the incident caused significant damage.

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“The damage, which included six poles being dragged from their mounting holes and snapped fibre optic cable, was extensive. Trees had been sliced in half after the broken cable reached its maximum tension and snapped,” said Elk Valley RCMP.

Telus and RCMP members reached out to various businesses to find out if a large load was travelling through the area, but none were identified.

“CVSE advised that there were no oversized loads through the area at that time of the morning as well,” said Elk Valley RCMP officials. “There was no vehicle debris located on-site to possibly identify a vehicle. The local weather BC Highway camera nearby was reviewed and did not capture an image of a vehicle the size required to do the damage located at the scene.”

Police ask anyone with information on the incident to contact the Elk Valley RCMP at 250-425-6233 or you can remain anonymous and contact BC Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-TIPS(8477).

“RCMP investigators believe that there are witnesses out there who were travelling to work or otherwise at that time and location and may have further evidence, even dash camera video, of the incident,” said RCMP officials. “Our investigation is ongoing.”

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