Largest Emergency Drill in NY Since 9/11


drillHundreds of police officers and firefighters and vehicles blaring with sirens will fill the World Trade Center site tomorrow for its largest post-Sept. 11 emergency drill. Officials planned to buy TV ads and plaster the neighborhood with posters to avoid the panic that gripped downtown Manhattan last month when a jet used by the president flew over the site unannounced. More than 800 city police, firefighters and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey responders will stage the drill Sunday morning inside a PATH commuter rail tunnel that snakes through the site.

The drill stages a response to a mock explosion on a PATH train in the tunnel. Police said the mock explosion was partly related to a 2006 plot to unleash the Hudson River on ground zero by blowing up the tunnel linking lower Manhattan and northern New Jersey.

Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said the response drill will be the largest ever at the trade center site’s PATH station and the largest group of responders at the site since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Kathleen Moore, who lives just south of the trade center site and escaped her apartment after the 2001 attacks, said she wasn’t sure how she’d react to sirens blaring and police descending on the trade center site.

“I don’t know what my hardware response will be to another emergency,” she said. “I’m very glad to know that this will not really be an emergency.”

A low-flying supersonic jet flew over the lower Manhattan skyline and ground zero on April 28, panicking Wall Street workers and residents who said they feared they were about to experience another Sept. 11. The director of the White House military office, who ordered the little-publicized flyover, apologized for frightening people and later resigned.

The agency and city police planned to close several streets to vehicles in the area and reserved the street on the north side of the site for emergency vehicles.

Rail service will be suspended all tomorrow morning for the two-hour drill.{NewYorkNow/Elisha Newscenter}




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