It was a weekend filled with weird, scary transit news.
Two terrifying rail security breaches occurred within hours of each other in the city yesterday -- including one at the World Trade Center, where a man slipped into the PATH tunnel and walked all the way to Jersey before saying he had left a bomb in the tunnel.
That scare -- and an unrelated escapade involving four "urban explorers" infiltrating the under-construction Second Avenue Subway tunnel -- come just days after the feds warned that al Qaeda could be targeting US trains.
Officials told the Post that Reymundo Rodriguez jumped down onto the tracks of a Manhattan PATH tunnel that was being patrolled by two Port Authority police. Rodriguez walked all the way to Jersey City before emerging, where he was seen by a Port Authority worker who alerted the cops.
Officers said Rodriguez told them he had "just put a bomb down on the tracks." There was no bomb found.
This all happened, coincidentally, the same day a commuter PATH train from New York pulling into a station crashed into the bumpers at the end of the tracks, injuring 34 people.
The PATH trains service "nearly 250,000 passenger trips each weekday, fewer on weekends," reports the AP.
In yet another unrelated incident, four urban explorers were arrested for allegedly sneaking into the Second Avenue Subway tunnel carrying Roman candles and cameras. The men told cops they brought the fireworks to light the tunnels for photos. (For a glimpse at urban exploring, check out this article on videographer Andrew Wonder's short documentary about an urban adventurer who illegally trekked through subway tunnels to catch a glimpse of the dark underbellies of the city).
But whatever the motive, these lapses in security present a clear threat to New Yorkers, politicians believe. On Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for a "no-ride" list for Amtrak trains, citing fears of terrorist attacks on the nation's train system.
Police Commissioner Kelly released a statement regarding the two sets of arrests. From the AP:
New York police say two incidents of train tunnel trespassing over the weekend have nothing to do with terrorism, but they warn the city's subway system is so big it's possible for intruders to enter blocked areas.
Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Monday that New York is doing more than any other city to protect residents. He says there are 5 million subway riders a day "so things of an untoward nature can happen."