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POWER TOWER TOPPLED; SERVICE IS UNINTERRUPTED

The toppling of an 80-foot powerline tower appears to have been an isolated case of criminal mischief rather than organized Y2K sabotage, authorities said Friday.

The tower held the main high-voltage lines that carry electricity from the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest.

A computer rerouted power to alternative lines less than one second after the line fell Thursday night, Bonneville Power Administration spokesman Perry Gruber. No customers lost power, and a small fire was quickly extinguished.

Neither Gruber nor the FBI would say how the tower was brought down, except to say that no explosives were used.

Crews were working to right the tower and energize the damaged line Friday.

FBI Agent Gordon Compton said the FBI had no suspects. The tower was in a remote area with no homes, and no one has claimed responsibility.

"There has been no evidence or intelligence that this was Y2K- or millennial-related," said David Szady, special agent in charge of the FBI's Portland office. "The cause has been determined and has been reported as an act of malicious mischief."

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