Investigators in the Seattle area are trying to determine who knocked down two towers belonging to KRKO(AM), Everett, Wash. A group called the Earth Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for the destruction.
The towers, knocked down early Friday morning, were new and part of a plan to expand the station’s signal. Since February, KRKO was using a new transmitter and had increased its power from 5 kW to 34 kW during the day and 50 kW at night.
KIRO(AM) reports the Snohomish County sheriff’s office believes vandals used a backhoe found in a nearby field to knock down the towers. KIRO-TV is running video of the 400-foot tower laying on the ground and says witnesses reported seeing three people running from the site.
KRKO President/GM Andy Skotdal told King5 news the vandals used the backhoe “to pull the main leg of the tower down.”
An employee of KRKO told KIRO radio that a banner from the Earth Liberation Front was found at the scene. We’ve reported there has been a contentious battle between the station and environmental groups about the plan to put towers in the remote area of the Snohomish River Valley.
The Earth Liberation Front uses “economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop what it calls the exploitation and destruction of the environment.” The group is claiming responsibility for the tower downing on its official press Web site, which promises details of the action “soon.”
KRKO is using a backup transmitter to remain on the air and is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.