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Plants can offer protection against terror attacks: German study

17 November 2018 11:59

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Plants can offer protection against terrorist attacks in cities, a study published on Friday by the Bundeswehr University Munich, a higher education institution of the German Armed Forces, found, Xinhua has learned.

According to the study, certain types of plants were found to significantly reduce the force of pressure waves created in explosions. The researchers argued that large squares in cities could be used to protect against terrorism more effectively in this fashion, for example by planting trees and bushes.

The findings were based on systemic explosion tests at a site near Berlin in September in which a range of different plants were placed a distance of five meters to five kilograms of TNT. Yew trees offered the most comprehensive protection against the blast, weakening the pressure thereof by as much as 45 percent.

A statement on the website of the Bundeswehr University Munich noted that research into the protective effect of plants in explosions was still at an early stage. Some tests have suggested that Thuja trees could result in an even greater reduction in blast pressure by around 60 percent.

"They are enormously important as elements of landscape architecture, as well as the design of urban spaces and make a valuable contribution to the urban ecology. If plants can also serve the purpose of explosive protection beyond this, we will have made a big step on the path to protection systems which meet the demands of a modern society for transparent and open architecture," the statement read.

The university's tests were commissioned by Germany's Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BKK) as part of a broader effort to explore security concepts for city centers.

Keywords: Science and research,