Colorado officials on heightened alert; military ‘monitoring’
DENVER (AP) ” Colorado homeland security officials were on heightened alert Thursday after a string of deadly terrorist bombings in London.
“Of course, we are monitoring the situation and gathering information,” said Sean Kelly, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command, the military’s domestic security agency based at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs.
The Bush administration raised the terror alert one level, to code orange, for the nation’s mass transit systems.
No disruptions in air, highway or rail traffic were reported in Colorado. State Patrol Sgt. Rob Marone said troopers were “obviously paying close attention to what’s going” but had taken no extra precautions.
The Union Pacific Railroad, which operates the 6.1-mile-long Moffat Tunnel, a heavily used bore feet high in the mountains west of Denver, ordered its crews to be “extra vigilant today,” spokesman John Bromley said.
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UP has 1,500 miles of tracks in the state.
Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said highway crews were told to be watchful at key roadways and structures.
Gov. Bill Owens said terrorist attacks have usually been isolated to one country at a time.
“Typically, these things don’t actually happen one after another in other countries, but there’s always a first time,” he told KOA radio.
Commuter W. James Smith said the bombings gave him pause.
“I certainly looked around when I got on the bus this morning,” he said at Denver’s Union Station. “I’m a stubborn old man and I just won’t change my patterns.”
Dave Raven was going to take the bus to work Thursday but changed his mind after news of the bombings.
“It shakes me up a little bit. I haven’t been using public transportation, and I might avoid it for a while,” he said. “I’m not going to get paranoid, but just be cautious.”
Officials with the state Division of Emergency Management and the Office of Preparedness, Security and Fire Safety were in a conference call with federal homeland security officials Thursday morning.
“We’re on heightened alert now,” said Polly White, an emergency management spokeswoman.
Denver International Airport spokesman Chuck Cannon reported no disruptions in air travel. He declined to comment on security precautions.
British Airways, which has the only nonstop service between Denver and London, said its flights were operating normally. A flight was scheduled to land in Denver at 6:22 p.m. and another was to depart for London at 8:15 p.m.
Associated Press Writers Don Mitchell, Jon Sarche, Sandy Shore and Robert Weller contributed to this story.