Work crews are scrambling to restore gas service as the FBI has also joined a criminal investigation of what police said appears to be an “intentional attack” on gas service lines in Aspen, Colorado, that left thousands of residents and business without heat as temperatures in the mecca skiing area have plummeted to near zero degrees.

Additional weather conditions are being forecast to bring up to 8 inches of snow in the Rocky Mountains region this week.Temperatures are predicted to fall to 2 degrees on Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Aspen police said the apparently coordinated acts of vandalism occurred Saturday night at three separate Black Hills Energy gas line sites, one in Aspen and two elsewhere in Pitkin County.

At one of the targeted sites, police said they found the words “Earth First” scrawled, and investigators were looking into whether the self-described “radical environmental group” was involved.  

Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn told reporter that the saboteurs appeared to have some familiarity with the natural gas system.  “They tapered with flow lines.  They turned off gas lines,” Linn said.  Linn said there was some physical evidence recovered at the scenes of vandalism including footprints left in the snow.  There were no security cameras at the three locations that were hit according to Linn.

Black Hills Energy officials said about 3,500 customers were affected by the gas outages, requiring crews to go to each natural gas meter to manually turn them off and relight the pilot lights, as work continued Tuesday and not knowing how long it would take before gas service was restored to everyone.

Linn said the police department was handing out about 6,000 portable space heaters to residents.  He added that numerous businesses, including restaurants and hotels, had to shut down due to the loss of gas.

The Aspen Times newspaper was told by Patti Clapper, a Pitkin County Commissioner that, “it’s almost, to me, an act of terrorism,” as the commissioner lost heat in her home due to the vandalism.  It’s trying to destroy a mountain community at the height of the holiday season.  This wasn’t a glitch, this was a purposeful act.  Someone is looking to make a state of some kind,” she added.

This is an ongoing investigation and will be updated as details are revealed.

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Bucky Barber
Bucky Barber
1 year ago

We need to start trying treason in thos country immediatley. This is America not a banana republic. #TrumpWon