Sunday, September 2, 2012

MBTA Testing for Bio-hazards on the T - MBTA Testing for Bio-hazards on the T

(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Boston) - The Department of Homeland Security and the MBTA are working to test a system of newly developed biological detection sensors at MBTA stations in Cambridge and Somerville this summer. 

The effort, to detect and minimize any impacts from an attack or accident involving hazardous biological materials in a mass transportation system, is being coordinated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Cambridge Public Health Department, and the Somerville Health Department, with support from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

It's important to note that the materials they're using are safe and will not harm people... but they are conducting biological tests in the T this week... to see how fast a biological terror attack could spread. 

Davis Square was tested Tuesday night. 

Harvard Square and Porter Square will be tested this week... and they're doing this overnight... when people aren't on the trains. Earlier this year, the department of homeland security and the MBTA installed sensors to help officials identify and contain biological terror attacks. 

These tests will make sure they work. While these tests won't harm anyone, the threat of a biological terror attack is real.

NECN Reporter Jackie Bruno asked people who ride the trains if that's something they think about and are worried about. 

"When you're stuck down there in the little tube you worry about a lot of things, but you can't let it stop your normal routines for the day," South Boston Resident Scott Luther said.

"I don't necessarily think about it. I think it's a good idea that they take these initiatives to do the testing and make it for a more safe community," Arlington Resident Joe Opalinski said.

This is one of the first subway systems in the country that is being tested with this equipment. 

If it works, it could be the model for other transportation systems throughout the nation. 

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