Fake terrorist drill at Shea Stadium; Photo: AP

New York City staged an elaborate mock drill that simulated a terrorist attack yesterday at Shea Stadium. The Times describes the scene:

The drill began at 11 a.m., when the city's Office of Emergency Management detonated an unspecified type of fake weapon of mass destruction inside the stadium. Soon after, fire trucks and ambulances straggled through gridlock in the parking lot toward the stadium, while rescuers inside coped with fake rubble and terrorist suspects as they rushed mock victims to safety...The result of all this preparation resembled something from a Jerry Bruckheimer soundstage. Overhead, helicopters swung across the cloudy sky. Whiffs of smoke drifted from the corridors of the stadium while a clot of "victims" paced up and down the stadium's ramps like a confused millipede.

Office of Emergency Management

called the drill, "Operation United Response," with the help of over a thousand police, fire, and rescue workers (from the city, state, and federal levels) as well as a thousand fake victims (Police and Fire Department cadets mainly) to test agencies decision making skills. (The $400,000 drill was funded from federal money.) OEM commissioner Joseph Bruno also said that the agency was looking into staging mock subway attacks as well.

The images of the drill are haunting, especially after the Madrid train bombings. But it's good to know that the city is trying to understand how to better address emergencies. Yes, attacks are unpredictable and may happen anyway, but Gothamist does feel a little reassured, if also alarmed, when the city goes through exercises like that.

And it's terrible that this mock drill is more explosive than the Mets' offense.