Application of Chemical Instruments to a Bomb Site – Case Study Example

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The paper "Application of Chemical Instruments to a Bomb Site " is a wonderful example of a case study on chemistry.   On an unassuming Saturday afternoon in London, an explosion went off inside a cinema hall at around 2:00 pm in the afternoon. Following the explosion, two more explosions racked the neighborhood between 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm. Of these explosions, one happened at the Scout Bar and the other at Eat Out restaurant. Given the fact that it was weekend and the time during which the explosions happened coincided with the fact that it was peak hour for Saturday revelers.

The explosions, therefore, ended up killing 239 people, of whom 72 were tourists. Hundreds more were left injured. Ambulances and the police rushed to the scene to coordinate the chaos and to help the injured to the hospital. Fire engines arrived at the explosion scene to put out the burning buildings and the forensic police arrived shortly after to begin their investigation. Initially, it was thought that the gas cylinder of a nearby restaurant had exploded, but further investigation suggests that it was acts of terrorism by suicide bombers. After the explosion, preliminary investigations discovered the fact that an approximate amount of 3 to 4kg of trinitrotoluene (TNT) was the cause of the explosion at the 89 Forum Cinema Hall.

This was also the second-largest explosion of the three. The explosion took place because of the fact that the TNT was packed well within the length of the PVC pipe of 55mm diameter sewn inside a nylon jacket. Based on this evidence, it was possible for one to confirm the fact that the investigation found small shreds of nylon fabric at the site of the blast.

Also, it was found that the blast did not create a crater or extrapolation of spatter, indicative of the fact that the bomb blast took place, at least two to three feet above ground level. This makes it clear the blast itself was the work of a suicide bomber. The research at the site of the bombing also found shards of flesh in the traces of TNT also indicating the fact that there was a human being involved in the blast.

When the process turned to the collection of samples for the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI), the route veered toward the creation of DNA profiles, which was then compared with the DNA profile of the spatter on the ceiling. What this did was that it would help the investigators in linking the body parts discovered at the site of the bombing and likening them to the body of the suicide bombers. The DNA profile was then run in the DNA database of Scotland Yard enabling them in coming up with an identification of the subject. The second bomb explosion that occurred in Scout Bar 10, took place about 10 minutes after the first.

This was also the largest explosion of the afternoon. Initial estimates found that about 18kg of TNT was utilized in the explosion. There was a creation of a crater, which when analyzed revealed the fact that there were traces of chlorate ion that were discovered. The analysis made further also discovered the fact that the bomb itself was created as a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulfur, and aluminum, which in turn was made more lethal through the addition of TNT.

The mixture thus created was placed inside a plastic box, which had a connection with a detonator cord, made from pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). This in itself is an organic highly which is explosive.

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