Thursday, June 14, 2007
Even a small backpack terrorist explosion at the Hillside Reservoir chlorine tanks could potentially kill a million people living downwind, and downhill from the blast. The chlorine supplies, very large permanent tanks for New York City's largest close-in reservoir (the rest are upstate) are not defended in any way, and I myself have jogged with my dog on the gravel path around Hillside many times, and taken pictures from there. From the top of Hillside reservoir one can see Long Island, all of Manhattan, parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, and all the major NYC bridge crossings. This line of sight unobstructed path is also exactly the path a chlorine cloud would take, depending on wind conditions, to kill its victims in the unlucky crowded neighborhoods below. We are reminded daily that Al Qaeda in Iraq has begun blowing up chlorine tanks, so the method is already in use by terrorists. Add to that, the ease of just parking on MacLean Avenue in Yonkers, and walking up a pleasant grassy hill with your back pack, passing no security posts, no armed guards, no policemen, and no physical barriers, to simply lay your satchel at the tanks, and push the button. If a family group was brought along with you, for effect, let's say some women in ethnic dress, and some children (as has been done lately at Iraqi checkpoints), the "innocent" nature of your outing would confuse and delay anyone seeing you, until it was too late. The chlorine would race naturally downhill, at about 30 miles per hour, and bloom upwards and outwards to about 1000 feet in height, and about a half mile across. It would inundate and annihilate the unlucky Maclean, Woodlawn, Wakefield, and Fordham neighborhoods, and follow the line of the Bronx River Valley south to Long Island Sound, killing up to a million people. Remember the cloud in Bhopal India killed 4000 immediately, 20,000 overall, and resulted in serious maiming and impairment for over 120,000 villagers, and this was a diffuse rural village setting, not a concentrated population center like the Yonkers-Bronx border is. Once on Long Island sound, the unobstructed plume could head to any of the unsuspecting population kernels in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and even New Jersey.
On the night of Dec. 2nd and 3rd, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking the deadly gas methyl isocyanate. Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 20,000 have died to date as a result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution. These ailments include blindness, extreme difficulty in breathing, and gynecological disorders. The site continues to poison the residents of Bhopal. In 1999, local groundwater and wellwater testing near the site of the accident revealed mercury at levels between 20,000 and 6 million times those expected. Cancer and brain-damage- and birth-defect-causing chemicals were found in the water; trichloroethene, a chemical that has been shown to impair fetal development, was found at levels 50 times higher than EPA safety limits.Testing published in a 2002 report revealed poisons such as 1,3,5 trichlorobenzene, dichloromethane, chloroform, lead and mercury in the breast milk of nursing women. The agony of Bhopal On 3rd December 1984, poison gas leaked from a Union Carbide tank, killing thousands. How many thousands, no one knows. Carbide says 3,800. Workers who picked up bodies with their own hands, loading them onto trucks for burial in mass graves or to be burned on mass pyres, reckon they shifted at least 15,000 bodies. Survivors, basing their estimates on the number of shrouds sold in the city, conservatively claim about 8,000 died in the first week. This leak is just about duplicate to what would happen from a chlorine release from Hillside Reservoir.In fact, a plant as safe as Indian Point could never harm anyone in the way that the undefended , perfectly placed people-bomb of Hillside Reservoir could.