Patterns govern severity of carnage in suicide bombings

November 14th, 2007 - 5:41 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 14 (ANI): A new research has revealed that particular patterns of crowd formation might lower or increase the number of fatalities in case of a pedestrian suicide bomb attack.
A plan of action against suicide bombings has long been called for because of the worldwide escalation of such attacks and the ability of the suicide bomber to deliver a relatively large explosive load accompanied by heavy shrapnel to the proximity of his or her victims.
The findings of Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, a Florida Institute of Technology doctoral student, though preliminary, may have implications for emergency response and counter-terrorism activities.
His research indicates that various crowd formations worsen or minimize injuries and fatalities during sucicide bombings.
The work, conducted through virtual simulation, showed that the crowd formation experiencing the worst effects is a circular one, with a 51 percent death rate and 42 percent injury rate, thus reaching 93 percent effectiveness.
A person that is in line-of-sight with the attacker, rushing toward the exit or in a stampede was found to be in the least safe position.
According to Usmani, the safest way to stand or sit in a crowd was in vertical rows.
Usmani plans to continue the research, integrating several physical and social variables into the simulation as well. These include modeling physical objects such as landscape and furniture, and such social variables as crowd behaviors.
“There are many applications for this simulation, from special event planning to emergency response,” said Usmani. (ANI)

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