BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Scientists with the Department of Homeland Security released harmless gases into Boston's subway system on Thursday to study the possible impact that an airborne contaminant would have on the MBTA and surrounding urban areas.
Local and federal officials stress that there is no specific biological threat to Boston, but the testing is essential to better handle a terrorist attack.
The gas was released both below and above ground at Park Street Station which is home to both the Red and Green Line trains.
As part of these experiments, scientists release non-toxic odorless gas, as well as particle tracers, above and below found, in order to test the airflow. The tracers are intended to simulate the path in which harmful gases would permeate the air in the event of an attack.
DHS official Teresa Lustig told FOX 25 that Boston is one of the first cities to have the testing done because it is one of the older transit systems in the country. It's ventilation system is different than the more modern systems and can help officials better understand how older systems across the country operate.
This testing comes after Boston became one of the first to install HD cameras at subway stations.
Similar testing was done in Washington, D.C. in 2007 and 2008 because it has one of the newer transit systems in the country. New York City also had similar testing done in 2005.
This round of testing is expected to wrap up next week and will be followed by another round in the fall.