Wednesday, January 5, 2011
NY: Terror fear at B'klyn bus depot
Terror fears have struck a Brooklyn bus depot after reports that several suspicious people videotaped its highly-flammable natural gas tanks.
"If those were hit, the whole neighborhood would blow up," said Tommy McNally, a Transport Workers Union representative who responded to the reports.
Three incidents of mysterious filming were reported on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Jackie Gleason bus depot in Sunset Park. Police say they are investigating.
Those who spotted the individuals described them as "Middle Eastern’’ looking, and said they paid particular attention to the depot’s compressed natural gas tanks, near its front gate.
Only one guard is usually on duty at the depot, said sources.
Early Saturday, a man dressed in a business suit walked by the depot with a video camera, transit sourcessaid.
On Sunday morning, two men and a woman allegedly parked their gray BMW with Pennsylvania plates in front of the depot, and filmed it with a large video camera.
The mysterious videographers waited for the guard to take a bathroom break before shooting their footage, said the sources.
Then on Monday, another man was spotted filming buses along their routes in the neighborhood.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority bosses have slashed the depot’s guard force in recent years to save money, the Transport Workers’ Union says.
"It’s disgrace," said McNally said. "They are endangering the lives of transit workers and those who live in the neighborhood."
Union officials also found the gate to a separate entrance to the bus depot wide open yesterday, with no guard in sight.
Four MTA counter terrorism officers were at the depot reviewing security footage of the incidents yesterday, McNally said.
In 2006, compressed natural gas tanks at a Queens bus depot exploded, pushing a colossasl wall of flames into the sky.
The MTA did not immediately return a request for comment.
Terrorist have targeted fuel lines in the city before. Two men were convicted in Brooklyn federal court last year in a foiled 2007 plot to blow up a fuel pipeline that runs through Queens to Kennedy Airport that they thought would kill thousands.