How else do bombs kill people?

Besides destroying the physical environment around you, sending shrapnel through you or burning you, how else do bombs kill? Can air pressure or concussion kill as well? Any other ways?

Sure, the shock wave can mess you up badly; the particles that make up the air we breath are pretty tiny, but if you throw enough of them the same direction at very high speed in a very short space of time, they will transfer quite a respectable amount of energy.

Landing on your head :slight_smile:

Landing on your head :slight_smile:

Yep: Run a search on overpressure. I thought I read it here, but apparently not. I believe I’ve heard some general saying that if he’s going into a bombed area and guys are walking around stunned, foaming pink foam, that’s due to overpressure. All the links I find seem to be talking about nukes though. :-/

All bombs kill by one of the following

  1. Heat - you get burned
  2. Shrapnel - stuff goes through you
  3. Blast (AKA concussion, shock wave, overpressure) - a wave of sudden air pressure changes traveling 1000 mph fling you into other stuff, crush you, tear parts off you, etc.

During a press conference for some injured soldiers that were taken to Germany, one of them said he had a tooth knocked out by the concussion of an RPG.

Would it be fair to suggest that an atomic weapon could kill you by irradiating you in such a way that you become too sick to live, and die shortly thereafter?

Also, a bomb or missile warhead equipped to disperse some kind of poison (a gas or liquid, I suppose) could kill by virtue of its non-explosive contents.

  1. Crushed by a building which falls on your head (actualy I think this is covered by the OP’s first point, but missing from above list)

I think that is just a special case of 3.

As an Ex-EMT I think msmith537 summed it up nicely. Especially of note:

Is a big one. If parts of you are getting ripped off its probably by large shrapnel more than concussion.

Also to run with the list a bit:
Concussion damage - Major organs will be rather violently shifted by the impact of the concussion wave causing alot of internal tearing and bleeding. Also the lungs may be damaged by the pressure differential causing bleeding and or fluid shift into the lungs.

Well, conventional explosives fit into one of the first 3. The latter are rather unusual cases, thus far. At the very least, I’d say that chemical weapons are not bombs, per se.

Yes, certainly. This should be common knowledge. Many people near, but not in, Hiroshima died in just such a way. As did workers at Chernobyl, which you may recall was not a bomb, but a nuclear power plant gone bad.

Destroying equipment that is involved in some sort of life support.

i.e. destroying the power lines that feed a iron lung; preventing a door from opening and the trapped people inside die of dehydration several days later.

Depends on the size of the blast.

When I was a Civ Engineer, my boss actually had a manual from the 60s that gave detailed info on the mechanics of a nuclear explosion (and how to design against it:rolleyes: ).

Basically, nuclear explosions are exactly like conventional ones except for two things:

-They are bigger (duh)
-They have radiation

kanicbird touched on it, but I was going to suggest any of the slower methods that cause casualties in times of war. Loss of shelter can result in exposure deaths. Blocked rivers can cause flooding, then drowning deaths. Crops can be destroyed or freshwater sources blocked off or contaminated, resulting in starvation or dehydration deaths. People can get trapped in the wreckage after a bombing, either during the collapse or during later rescue efforts. Disease tends to flourish in wartime because of loss of infrastructure and the side-effects of issues discussed above. Taxed medical resources mean that an illness normally treatable could be fatal instead.

Shorter-term effects would include fires and so on, too.

Aerosol bombs that explode, creating a large cloud of flammable vapor (with its shock wave), and then ignites (creating a huge fireball and a temporary vacuum effect, as all the oxygen is burned instantaneously). That kind of bomb can kill you four ways: the explosive impact; the concussion; the fireball; or suffocation in the vicinity of the fireball.

Any radiological or EMP bomb that destroys or disrupts electronic gear can wipe out any number of people who are driving, flying, being operated on, feeding the Jurassic Park T-Rex, etc.

And any bomb development program undertaken in a country without (cue the violins) adequate nutrition, public health care, etc. etc. could be said to be diverting much-needed funds to guns rather than butter.

And I suppose we could add for good measure that many a Hollywood career has been ended by movies that bombed commercially. Michael Cimino after “Heaven’s Gate,” for instance. :wally: