Smuggler Mine smoke plume

A sizeable smoke plume over Aspen Saturday morning when operations from within the Smuggler Mine caused an explosive sound that caused an influx of 911 calls from concerned residents in the area.

The explosion that rocked the Smuggler Mountain area Saturday morning was apparently due to activities happening in the mine, a Pitkin County Sheriff's Office press release explained. No damage or injuries had been reported as of 12:11 p.m.

At approximately 09:03 this morning, Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center (PCREDC) received numerous reports of several loud explosions in the area of the base of Smuggler Mountain.

"We were swamped with 911 calls, that’s all I can tell you," a dispatcher said at about 9:15 a.m. At that time, there was no information available.

The Aspen Fire Department, Aspen Ambulance District, PCSO and Aspen Police Department were immediately dispatched to the area, where there had been open flames and smoke, according to witnesses.

"When emergency personnel arrived in the area a short time later, no flames could be found nor damage to any area buildings or structures. Emergency personnel searched the area and spoke to several witnesses who helped focus the source of the explosions to the Smuggler Mine property," the release says.

About a dozen curious spectators gathered at nearby Smuggler Park as responders began their investigation, and rumors circulated that a small aircraft had possibly crashed into the mountainside. At 10:47 a.m., the PCSO tweeted that was not the case in a clear effort to dispel the rumor.

"Per fire personnel, it was due to activity within the Smuggler Mine and did NOT involve an aircraft," the tweet reads.

This story will be updated.