It's hard to know whether or not to write about such things, but since the damage to New York's C line is making major headlines it can serve as an example. No one wants to give terrorists unfamiliar with our society any ideas of how to damage us, but the ease with which the subway was crippled should prompt us all to think of the weak points we see in our daily lives and what we can do to keep an eye on them.

A fire in a subway control room has put the C line out of service for up to five years and caused serious problems on the A line that will make the commute miserable for hundreds of thousands of subway riders, officials said yesterday.

The unstaffed room containing 600 electrical devices called "relays" that are used to power signals and switches along a segment of the vital Eighth Avenue line were destroyed Sunday in the blaze.

Cops blamed a vagrant who set a shopping cart full of wood blocks ablaze six feet into the tracks at the Chambers Street station. Cops are searching for the derelict.

Why wasn't the relay station closed off? Even a cheap metal door could have stopped a shopping cart full of wood. Simple security enhancements can do a lot to deter criminals and to make crime more difficult. We should all be attentive to our surroundings and do what we can to protect our country and our infrastructure.



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