Time bomb explained
For other uses see Time bomb (disambiguation).
A time bomb (or timebomb, time-bomb) is an improvised explosive device with a timer so that it can be set to detonate any given time.
Construction and usage
The explosive charge is the main component of any bomb, and makes up most of the size and weight of it. It is the damaging element of the bomb (along with any fragments or shrapnel the deflagration might produce with its container or neighboring objects).
Timers can vary from wind-up alarm clocks to cheap wrist watches and even notebook computers.
The detonator is the source of heat that will start the combustion (or chain reaction in case of nuclear explosives). It is itself an explosive, with a lower ignition point than the main explosive charges.
List of notable incidents involving time bombs
- On December 11, 1994, Philippine Airlines Flight 434, a Boeing 747-283B, was flying its second leg, from Cebu to Tokyo, when a time bomb exploded, killing one passenger. The rest of the passengers and the crew survived. The aircraft made an emergency landing at Naha Airport, Okinawa, 1 hour after the bomb exploded. The bomb was made of a Casio digital watch as the timer and a bottle of liquid nitroglycerin as the explosive. It was planted under seat 26K by Al-Qaeda member Ramzi Yousef, who boarded the flight under the alias Armaldo Forlani. He planted the time bomb on the first leg from Manilla to Cebu, and left the plane at Cebu with 25 other passengers. The bomb exploded 4 hours after being planted. Yousef was arrested 2 months later in Pakistan.
- Brighton hotel bombing
- St. Nazaire Raid
In popular culture
Time bombs are very common in action/thriller TV series, cartoons, films and video games, where heroes often escape the blast area or defuse the bombs at the very last second (often performing a spectacular stunt).
Such fictional appearances include:
- Kojak, Knight Rider, MacGyver, , 24, Neighbour, Sonic X and Walker, Texas Ranger on television;
- James Bond: Goldfinger, , The Peacemaker, Battle Royale, and New Police Story in film;
- Counter-Strike, Sonic Adventure 2, , , and Trauma Center Second Opinion in video games; and
- Songs by The Old 97's, Chumbawamba, Godsmack, The Format, Demolition Hammer, Rancid, Buckcherry, The Dismemberment Plan, Faber Drive and Beck titled "Time bomb" or "Timebomb".