Blast Mitigation

Mar 20, 2008 (LBO) – Ninety percent of the glass used in Sri Lankan buildings are vulnerable to bomb attacks and can cause excessive harm to occupants in the event of a blast, a British expert said. .

“Most of the glass you got in Colombo would be plain float or annealed glass [untreated glass] and if you want to have bomb blast protection, this is the last type of glass you should use,” Ken Holt of UK Security TPS Consult said.

Holt said people get killed not only by the direct shock wave of the blast but also by debris and fragments blown off from nearby buildings.

“When you put glass in front everything is made worse because the blast forms large shards of glass that are lethal and they can travel 100 miles an hour.

“It’s these glazing fragments that cause lot of the damage. It can kill you outright,” Holt said.

Sri Lanka has been hit by bombs attacks carried out by Tamil Tiger [LTTE] separatists since the 1980s in which buildings and sometimes entire blocks have been shattered or damaged.

One of the worst attacks was the 1996 Central Bank bombing, in which 97 people were killed and 1,400 wounded with extensive damages to the bank and surroundings buildings.

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