WATCH: Huge fire-hit Bilsdale mast is blown-up by explosives – York Press

BILSDALE mast – which was damaged by fire in August resulting in the loss of television and radio services across the region – has been demolished.

Arqiva, the company which owns and operates the mast, confirmed that the 314m structure was safely brought down in a controlled explosion on Wednesday.

It said that following investigations, the 500-tonne structure was considered beyond repair.

Arqiva said the mast was brought down by a specialist team using controlled detonations in order to preserve sections for the continuing forensic investigation into the cause of the fire.

Watch the demolition here

The mast was built in 1969 and has provided TV and radio services to York, North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and County Durham ever since.

The direction of dismantling was chosen to minimise the impact on the surrounding environment, the company said.

A spokesperson added: “Arqiva will also ensure the moorland is restored fully, whilst also taking specific measures to minimise the impact of the clean-up activity.”

“As the damaged mast was deemed unsafe, an exclusion zone was set up in a two-kilometre circumference around it as part of the dismantling operation. The dismantling work was not publicised in advance to ensure safety and minimise the risk to those involved in the dismantling.”

Arqiva said a temporary, 80-metre tower close to the original mast is currently nearing completion which will restore TV services to more than 90 per cent of households across the region.

 York Press: Keith Frost, director of engineering at Arqiva

The company is also setting up an online hub to help and support for priority groups affected by the loss of TV services. It will be found at bilsdalemast.co.uk

Adrian Twyning, chief of operations at Arqiva, said: “Safety is our number one priority and once we had clearance to fell the mast, and identified a suitable weather window, we acted quickly.

“The site is on remote moorland, and there is around 2km of perimeter that we have to secure before the mast could be brought down. This mast has been a part of the landscape in this area for decades, and we continue to work hard to restore TV services to those people affected by the fire.”

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