I have a question about the mailbox in front of the Starbucks at 755 Boylston Street — the location of the second bomb, the one that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is falsely accused of planting. To tell by photographs of the aftermath, that mailbox sustained no damage. Here is American Everyman’s analysis of the bomb blast, proving that the bomb exploded right next to the mailbox:
In this and other photos, the mailbox clearly came out of the blast no worse for wear. When I first noticed this, I thought it curious indeed; but being no expert in materials, I filed the question to the back of my mind and kept a lookout for an explanation. So far, nothing.
Then, this afternoon, purely by chance, I happened to find myself reading about a car bomb blast in East London. A friend had sent a message that there was a rumor of a bomb in London, so I plugged “news London bomb” into Google on my phone. The first hit was this article from the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-64295/London-car-bomb-blast.html. The only date on the page was today’s (shitty archiving, Daily Mail!), so at first I thought the rumor was true.
I read the article and was surprised when it stated that the car bomb had broken a water main. A water main??? Those are located under the roads!
That must have been quite some powerful explosion, plus it occurred in a crowded nightlife area, so how many people died?
Well, then surely there must have been some horrific, clinging-to-life-by-your-toothskin injuries, too horrible to publish?
Nah. Just six injuries, none life-threatening. One guy was just a few meters away, and though he got knocked off his feet, he came out of it with an awesome story to tell that will surely impress the chicks.
Yet this same blast ruptured a water main, flooding the street under two feet of water.
Now, granted, if it was one of London’s newer drinking-water-mains, then instead of being made of some heavy Victorian alloy, it would look like this:
Still, it would have been located under the road. So for a bomb to destroy it through the road would require (I would think) enough force to do more than ding a few nearby heads.
Now, back to that mailbox. Here are closeup pics of the thing. I snapped them on Google Maps, which lets you wander onto the sidewalk along Boylston Street. They are of course preblast shots but they show how thin the feet are:
Now, here’s my question. How is it that a blast killing no one and injuring only six ruptures a water main, but one that kills at least one person and injures dozens more doesn’t even crumple this mailbox a bit?
Again, I am no materials expert and am making no claims, but I would like to hear from people who are qualified to answer my question in a reasonable and reliable fashion.
Until I get that answer, my horse sense tells me that the blast at 755 Boylston was nowhere near as powerful as reported — that it was a prop producing a lot of smoke so that actors could get themselves prepped and into position by the time it cleared and the show began.