Bangor- Just as the fate of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being determined, Husson University students are learning to put together the pieces of a bomb scene.
The university’s forensic science seniors had a blast this morning as four bombs were detonated near the Bangor Airport.
“They’re here today learning a little bit of the hands on portion. Instead of being in a regular lab from 8:30-11:30, they’re here outside experiencing a post blast investigation,” said Alicia Wilcox, an assistant professor at Husson.
The types and sizes of the bombs ranged from small with uncontained flames to larger more dangerous explosives. The intention was to give the students an idea of what they may encounter in the real world, and they agree that they were blown away by this unique experience.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect at first because I knew we were going to be doing an explosive exercise today, but it was a little bigger than I expected, honestly,” said Ryan Bourret, a student majoring in forensic science.
Of the four bombs set off today, the fourth one was placed in a backpack and full of shrapnel, similar to the ones set off during the Boston Marathon.
“Now being able to identify that those were homemade devices, and they were eventually identified, I think as pressure cooker devices, after they’ve exploded is part of what forensic science does,” said Eric Gordon, the Director of Marketing and Communication at Husson University.
Students finished their experience by collecting shrapnel from the final bomb to bring to the lab to try and reconstruct it, just like real forensic teams and bomb specialists did after the Boston Marathon bombing.
“A detonation tears everything into small pieces, so what they’re looking for is pieces of the device, the packaging that it was in, the power sources, the electrical components that were inside the device,” said Chris Harriman, a police sargeant.
Students, teachers, and officers all agree that having an experience like this tops anything these students could learn in a text book.