Analysis reveals that New York City tunnels are susceptible to attacks

Sunday, December 24, 2006

According to a security analysis of the PATH tunnels as requested by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, the tunnels are more susceptible to attacks than once thought: if an explosive were to blow a 50 square foot hole in the wall, then over one million gallons of water per minute would flood in. This information has not been shared with other government agencies yet.

Commissioner Kelly considers this to be a "cause for concern," but still believes the trains are safe. Marc La Vorgna, a spokesman of the Port Authority, claims that security has stepped up and bag checks will be increased.

This report comes five months after arrests were made overseas of people who were conspiring to bomb the PATH tunnels.

The four tubes of PATH trains, which connect New Jersey, and New York City, are used by 230,000 people each weekday. These tunnels are made of cast iron and only one-fourth of the length is reinforced with concrete or brick. Should a hole be punctured in one of those tunnels, that tunnel would flood in six minutes and the rest of the system would be overwhelmed in a matter of hours.

The analysis was funded by the US government and was done by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The study has since been leaked to The New York Times by an official.