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Type: Journal article
Title: Lethal explosions in a non-terrorist civilian setting
Author: Byard, R.
Citation: Medicine Science and the Law, 2018; 58(3):156-158
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0025-8024
Statement of
Roger W. Byard
Abstract: A study was undertaken to investigate the range and nature of deaths that may result from explosions in a civilian population that has not been exposed to terrorist attacks or significant military activities. A search was conducted of autopsy files at Forensic Science SA, Adelaide, Australia, from July 2000 to June 2017 for all cases where death had been attributed to an explosion. Twenty cases were identified, consisting of 10 accidents, five suicides, two homicides, one murder-suicide with two decedents and one case where the manner of death was undetermined. Explosives were involved in nine deaths, petrol in seven and propane/butane/natural gas in a further four. Deaths caused by explosions were a rare event, with most cases being caused by accidents in a domestic or industrial environment. Although suicides formed the next most-common group, it is possible that explosions caused by petrol in cases of self-immolation were not intended.
Keywords: Explosion; terrorism; military; petrol; suicide
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018 Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0025802418767797
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