July 11, 2005

Cell phone service resumed in two New York tunnels

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cell phone service resumed in two of
four busy New York commuter tunnels on Monday after it was shut
off amid heightened security concerns following last week's
deadly blasts in London, officials said.

Cell phone service to two of the tunnels had been shut down
in a miscommunication between the New York Police Department
and the Manhattan Transportation Authority, officials said.
Service to those two tunnels was restored.

No specific reason had been given for the move to stop
service on Thursday after the London blasts, which killed more
than 50 people, but cell phones have been used to trigger bombs
in the past.

In March 2004 bombs in Madrid that killed 191 people on
trains were fitted to mobile phones, using the alarms as
timers. Police in London have said they believe the subway
bombs there were detonated by timers.

A New York Police Department spokesman said police had not
requested the shutdown of service in the Midtown Tunnel, which
connects Manhattan and the borough of Queens, and the Battery
Tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In announcing the resumption of service, the Manhattan
Transportation Authority said, "It appears to be a
miscommunication between the NYPD and the MTA."

Cell phone service in the Holland and Lincoln tunnels,
which go under the Hudson River to connect Manhattan and New
Jersey, remained suspended on Monday.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which
oversees the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, said it did not
consult police before deciding to shut down service in the
interest of safety last week.

"We have not opened the frequencies up for cell phones," a
Port Authority spokesman said. "We did not consult the NYPD. We
did it on our own and are continuing to evaluate the

New York has remained on high alert for another attack
following the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks, which
destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers.