Just before 10am this morning station manager Adrian Basso at PBS FM in Collingwood spotted a smoldering fire on the top of an electricity pole. It was just across from the radio station’s entrance. “Then the power line exploded,” says Basso. “It came crashing down on to some other lines. I saw it and I heard it. I think a lot of people did.”
“There was a really gnarly explosion,” says PBS’s music coordinator, Cameron Durnsford.
Basso describes the scene as “pretty chaotic”.
Less than 24 hours after Triple R went off air due to flooding from a burst fire hydrant, Melbourne's other well-loved community radio station experienced a power surge and a stretch of dead air for “many seconds”.
Last night Basso had a call from friend and fellow broadcaster Cameron Paine at Triple R. He wanted to know if Triple R presenters could broadcast from the PBS studio today. Thankfully, the station was back on air before that was necessary.
“It’s probably lucky they didn’t, because potentially both stations would have been down!” says Basso. “I rang Cameron back and said, you’ve cursed us!”
Basso isn’t sure yet about permanent damage. The station’s broadcast technician, Bill Runting, who also works at Triple R, is still assessing things.
Runting was up all night assessing Triple R’s problems. “When I called him up he didn’t sound too impressed,” says Basso. “I don’t think he believed me.
“I can’t imagine what the odds are of those two occurrences happening so close to each other.
“I didn’t feel like we were in any danger. We could have gone off air, so we needed to get a generator.
“We acted pretty quickly and nothing detrimental happened.”