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Utah facilities heighten alert

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Federal facilities in Utah, including military bases and the Army's chemical weapons incinerator, are on heightened alert following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Flights were grounded at Salt Lake International Airport, as at all the country's other air facilities, and travelers here said they were glad of the security.

Offices of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee were closed, and schools were considering sending students home.

Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, issued a statement calling the attacks "an act of war!" He said the government will find those responsible and strike back.

"Because of the events occurring today, we have moved to a higher security level, and of course we're applying those security measures," said Jim Hackett, spokesman for Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, where tons of deadly nerve and mustard agent are stored. However, the chemical weapons incinerator at the depot is continuing its normal functions.

The security at the depot is not at its highest level, he added. Later events might trigger the higher level.

"We haven't had any problems yet," he added. "Of course, everything is a little bit confused today. . . . It's been a rather chaotic morning so far."

At Hill Air Force Base, almost all telephone lines were tied up. When reporters were able to get through to a public affairs number, an official said she would call back, but the call was not returned in time for deadline.

"We're taking appropriate measures," said one Hill spokeswoman. She added that both fighter wings stationed at Hill were grounded.

Heightened security also was applied at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah's western desert. "Also, we have checked all the personnel that we had traveling. None of those personnel are in the immediate disaster areas," Dugway's Paula Nickolsen told the Deseret News.

Travel for Dugway personnel has been restricted for the rest of the week to "only absolutely essential travel."

Gov. Mike Leavitt had a call from his Washington, D.C., office at 7:30 a.m. and immediately ordered a review by the state's Comprehensive Emergency Management people.