Conn. simulates bioterror attack

First responders and personnel from state and federal agencies participated in a major bioterrorism drill at a train station in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority Police, a New Canaan Police Special Response Team and the FBI were included in an evaluation of the city’s response to a hazardous substance being released aboard a commuter train headed into the New Canaan train station, according to

The drill involved a hostage scenario, the release of anthrax into the air and a bomb placed under a rail car. Although it was the 29th time the MTA has been involved in a full-scale exercise, this one is considered the first of its type.

Edward Murray, the exercise director from the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said an exercise of this scope of circumstances was the first ever performed in the country.

“Most drills like this are solely devoted to response in an emergency situation like a derailed train or something like that,” Murray said, reports. “We also have a recovery section that the Health Department is doing; it’s unique and it has never been done before in the United States. So this is certainly a unique exercise.”

The scenario, which took at least a year to plan, utilized more than 200 emergency responders, 50 of whom came from New Canaan. Other area response teams, including those from county, state and federal agencies, also participated.