Grenade Impact


Well-Known Member
Though this news is pretty much a non-event, it got me wondering if a single grenade could take down an airliner...

LONDON (Reuters) - A Venezuelan man carrying a live hand grenade was arrested at Britain's Gatwick airport on Thursday by police on high alert for an al Qaeda terror attack.

Two people were also arrested close to Heathrow airport, on the outskirts of London, as police and troops heightened security.

Police said the 37-year-old Venezuelan had been arrested by officers after his arrival at the airport, Britain's busiest after Heathrow, from Colombia when a suspicious item was found in his luggage.

"The item was examined by explosives officers and it appears to be a live grenade," a police spokeswoman said. He has been handed over to anti-terrorist police and taken to London.

The airport authority BAA said the north terminal at Gatwick in southern England had been closed and all outgoing flights suspended.

"We do have a few flights that have just landed and the passengers are being kept on board," a British Airways spokesman said.

At Heathrow, on London's western outskirts, anti-terrorist police said they arrested two men. A police spokesman said they had been detained in the suburb of Hounslow, near the airport.

A police source however said the Hounslow arrests were precautionary and did not appear to be significant.

...I'm no demolitions expert but from what I've gathered grenades simply fragment. Grenades don't displace a great volume of air or create a shockwave like TNT does. I think it has something to do with high v low explosives (if only I had paid more attention in chemistry). Sure the grenade would be devastating to the pax seated in close proximity and it would most certainly put several holes through the fuselage but would it really "blow up" the plane? I think the real danger is if a hydraulic line were cut or a fuel tank punctured.
I think a lot of it would come down to where the device was detonated. If it exploded in the cockpit, god forbid, it's definitely going to be bad. However, simply exploding in the middle of the cabin would, of course, present a problem, but I doubt it would bring the bird down...

Thank god they caught this guy though...
I've thrown alot of grenades in my day....and I think that it's a pretty good bet that a grenade would take down pretty much any airliner. It would definately depressurize the airplane and it would be so violent that it would most likely break up the airframe.'s not like the movies...knock a few people down and go pop...a grenade causes a massive explosion with alot of force - enough to bring down an airliner!!