Contractors tasked with dismantling the collapsed transmission mast at Hoogersmilde, Netherlands, say they need three or four weeks to clear debris from the site. Work is proceeding carefully and slowly due to concerns about the stability of the damaged structure, according to Dutch-language press reports.
The damage from the 15 July fire, the cause of which remains undetermined, is expected to cost millions of euro to repair. FM and DVB-T coverage in the north of the Netherlands has been severely curtailed by the loss of the mast. Additional transmission capability has been added at Hilversum and Tsjerkgaast, and a temporary mast has been erected at a disused military barracks in Assen. Medium-wave transmitters have also been called into service to help provide information and coverage.
An unrelated fire at the Lopik/IJsselstein transmission station, believed to be due to overheated transmission cabling, has left that facility operating at less than full capacity. Although it was partially restored to service on 18 July, it continues to operate at less-than-full power for safety reason.
Several other transmission sites are also operating at reduced power as a precaution until the causes of the Lopik and Hoogersmilde fires are fully ascertained.