Does rain play havoc in a blast probe?

Photo courtesy: Mid-day

It is not considered to be a good sign when it rains when investigations are on. There has been a lot of talk about evidence being washed away from the blast sites thanks to the downpour in the city.

Sources who are on the job from the forensics department however confirmed that there has been no problem where collection of evidence is concerned from the blast sites. We have managed to gather what we needed and are examining it, he said. There have been traces of ammonium nitrate, fuel among other material which currently is under observation, sources added.

Forensic expert, Padma Bhushan Prof Chandrashekhar however says that the rains will not hamper the collection of evidence. The team of forensic experts usually cover the area with a plastic sheet to safeguard the evidence apart from taking the help of the police in cordoning off the area.

The first job ahead for the team would be to collect the explosive residues. A very dark powder is first found at the site and this is not normally washed away. This powder even after the explosion is never burnt fully and hence such uburnt particles are always available at the blast sites even if it is raining.

However the key to the investigation is to look for the initiating device known as the detonator. The control switch will also need to be found and to be honest these items are not washed away by the rains. Even if it has moved the forensics team does possess the expertise to locate the same downstream. During the earlier days the team used to look for clocks, but now a days terrorists do not use it due to the sound it makes while ticking. Hence the controlling unit is through wires which again will be found at the blast site.

Rain cannot be considered to be a deterrent in such cases. Metal fragments from the blast are always there and the wires too do not get washed away. The team will locate the centre of the explosion where all these materials can be found. This is the place where the remanents of the device will be found and more often than not it goes into the ground due to the impact which will ensure that it is secure and not washed away by the rains. However the more important thing is that the area needs to be cordoned off and the forensics team should not be hurried. This would go a long way in getting the required clues.

Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

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