BOSTON (CBS) – The federal government’s radiation-detecting helicopter flew over the Boston Marathon route on Wednesday.

“Just as a precautionary measure, it doesn’t mean that anybody expects that something will happen,” says Mark Parsons of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The helicopter flies about 150-feet off the ground and picks up normal signs of radiation like over medical facilities and construction sites that use x-ray machines.

Two pods on the sides of the helicopter measure the radiation levels. That data will be used to make a map that tells scientists what are acceptable normal levels.

But what if the worst case scenario is found?

“If the bomb were radiological in nature, we would expect to see it,” said Dr. Michael Mazur of the NNSA.

Radiation-detecting helicopter operated by NNSA (WBZ-TV)

Radiation-detecting helicopter operated by NNSA (WBZ-TV)

The government’s radiation-detecting chopper will be back above the route on Thursday, but will not be in the air on Marathon Monday.

The FAA will have other types of aircraft to help keep people safe, according to Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.

“The FAA has banned drones from coming into the area, obviously we are going to use some anti-drone technology out there,” Evans said. “The public is going to see some technology out there that we haven’t used before.”

Commissioner Evans added there will be a significant number of undercover police officers blending in with the spectators.

He also said that if the crowds get too large in Kenmore Square and along Boylston Street, police will kindly ask people to move to another area.

Comments (3)

Leave a Reply