Want to survive a bomb? Don't run, take cover.


There's an old adage for bomb technicians - if you see them running, try to keep up. But preliminary research carried out by the Florida Institute of Technology suggests that bolting for the exit when confronted by a suicide bomber is a poor choice of strategy.

Assistant Professor Daniel Kirk and Fulbright Scholar Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani developed physics-based computer models to predict the magnitude and number of casualties occurring in suicide bomber attacks. They found that the precise location of individuals in the room had a large impact on the injuries they received.

Simulations were compared to real-life attacks in Iraq to gauge the accuracy of the software. Line-of-sight with the attacker, rushing toward the exit and stampede were found to be the victims' most lethal choices both during and after the attack.

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It's an adage I'm well used to from a childhood in Northern Ireland - duck and cover.

Pff! Unless Hollywood has been lying to me, my advice would be to just outrun the fireball or jump into the nearest canal to allow the deadly bomb-flames to harmlessly pass overhead whilst I swim under the surface.

All this stuff about blast injuries, shrapnel and shockwaves is just academic bafflegab

By justasitsounds (not verified) on 26 Mar 2009 #permalink