MBTA bioterror test begins this week

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and scientists will collaborate this week in Boston on the simulation of a biological or chemical terrorist attack.

The federal program will help the scientists to determine how gases would move through the subway tunnels during a bioterror attack. The teams will release and trace the movement of nontoxic, odorless gases as part of the project, WHDH reports.

Boston and Washington D.C. were chosen for the project.

"And we think by studying the oldest system in the U.S. and one of the more modern systems that we can apply broadly the lessons learned that from these experiments to other transit systems across the country," Teresa Lustig, a representative of the Department of Homeland Security, said, according to WHDH.

While some results from the project will be immediate, the complete results of the simulation will take two to three months to process.

"It takes two to three months to get all the results back," David Brown, a research scientist, said, according to WHDH. "We have some results immediately, that we use to get just a general feel for how the test is going."

Testing will continue in the subway tunnels through the end of the week at off-peak hours. Officials hope that first responders will benefit from the information collected.

"Where we are in today's world we know that transit systems have been attacked by terrorists and this is just another preparedness step to be ready for such an incident and to enhance the overall security," Lewis Best, the deputy chief of the MBTA transit police, said, according to WHDH.