A video claiming that a 5G antenna was burnt down in Italy as people were angry with the news that 5G was causing the spread of coronavirus is viral on social media. Though the video is of an antenna burning, it has nothing to do with coronavirus, proves the fact check.
The video claims that the incident occurred at the Italian city, La Spezia. The first reason to state that the claim is false is that the city does not have any 5G antennas. Currently, transmission towers in La Spezia have only 3G and 4G antennas. As of now, there has been no order to install 5G antennas in the region. The video shared by Tzefanya Leta on Facebook makes false claims that Italians burn 5G cell tower out of anger in La Spezia.
But the real reason for the burning of the antenna is said to be short circuit. According to AFP Fact Check, a statement was released by the La Spezia fire brigade on April 6 that the fire incident involved a metal lattice for telecommunications and a boat allocated in adjacent storage.
"The firefighters intervened with an APS (tank pump), an ABP (tank truck) to ensure suitable water reserve and an AS (ladder truck) with 9 operating units in Pianazze, for a fire that involved a metal lattice for telecommunications and a boat allocated in adjacent storage. The timely extinguishing of the flames prevented the fire from spreading to the adjacent boats," the statement reads.
Thus, the antenna was not burnt by people in anger but was an accident probably caused by a short circuit and even a boat was burnt in the incident.
The claim of angry people burning 5G tower/antenna was also dismissed by a local newspaper Citta Della Spezia. "5G has nothing to do with the fire at the Pianazze involved a series of Telecom and WindTre devices. The video shared online encourages conspiracy theorists who associate it with new technology and even Covid-19," the report said. Further, it also stated that the probable reason for the fire was short circuit.
The claim is also connected to coronavirus infection as conspiracy theories had falsely claimed that COVID-19 is being spread by 5G towers.