Massive phone outage in Netherlands hits Dutch emergency number

ASSOCIATED PRESS
THE HAGUE
Published 24.06.2019 19:18
Updated 24.06.2019 21:36

A major telephone outage took down the Dutch emergency number for more than three hours Monday, forcing police and other first responders to scramble to set up alternatives.

KPN tweeted at around 7:40 p.m. (1740 GMT) that the outage had been repaired, the 112 alarm number was working again and mobile and fixed phone services were restored.

The outage began around 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) forcing emergency services to quickly establish new contact numbers that were publicized on social media and via push alerts to many mobile phones.

Police sent officers onto the streets so that people could approach them for emergency help and issued an alternative emergency phone number an hour after the outage began.

"We're appealing to everybody who wants to report an emergency and needs help to ... go onto the street. Police officers with walkie-talkies are taking to the streets as much as possible so they can be spoken to," police spokeswoman Suzanne van de Graaf told national broadcaster NOS.

Telecom provider KPN reported on its website that the nationwide outage affected both landlines and mobile services. It said work was underway to find a solution.

Some police forces advised people to use social media if they need to contact emergency services, while others advised people to go to public buildings if they need urgent help.

The cause of the outage was not immediately clear.

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