Truck Attack Research Paper

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Beirut Death Toll at 161 Americans; French Casualties Rise in Bombings; Reagan Insists Marines Will Remain ________________________________________ BUILDINGS BLASTED ________________________________________ Truck Loaded With TNT Wrecks Headquarters of a Marine Unit ________________________________________ By Thomas L. Friedman Special to The New York Times EIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 23 -- A suicide terrorist driving a truck loaded with TNT blew up an American Marine headquarters at the Beirut airport today, killing at least 161 marines and sailors and wounding 75. In an almost simultaneous attack, another bomb- laden truck slammed into a French paratroop barracks two miles away. According to Lebanese Civil Defense authorities, at least…show more content…
The identity of the attackers still had not been determined tonight. Truck Loaded With TNT According to a Pentagon spokesman, a Mercedes truck filled with some 2,500 pounds of TNT broke through a series of steel fences and sandbag barricades and detonated in the heart of the Marines' administrative headquarters building shortly after dawn. The explosion collapsed all four floors of the building, turning it into a burning mound of broken cement pillars and cinder blocks. Although a marine sentry was able to fire about five shots at the suicide driver and another marine threw himself in front of the speeding, explosive- filled truck, neither could block its entry into the headquarters building, where it exploded in a fireball that left a crater 30 feet deep and 40 feet wide. In a haunting scene late tonight, rescue workers using blow torches, pneumatic drills and cranes worked furiously under floodlights to pry out the dead and wounded still crushed beneath the smouldering debris. Marine spokesmen said there might have been as many as 300 men sleeping in the building - which doubled as a bunk house - at the time of the…show more content…
According to the witness, the sentry fired at least five rounds at the truck. Sentry Box Smashed But it did no good. The truck broke down the gate and then swerved around a blast wall of sandbags about 15 feet in front of the building entry. According to the witnesses quoted by Major Jordan, another marine threw himself in front of the truck, but to no avail. Now the truck was moving even faster, said Major Jordan, and the only thing between it and the building was the sentry box at the front door. The sentry box consisted of sandbags and glass in wood frames. The Mercedes apparently smashed right through it and drove straight into the heart of the building's lobby. There, the driver of the truck detonated the explosive. Some Marines said that the presence of mind of the driver, who steered the truck through all the barriers, swerved around bunkers, ignored the rifle fired directed at him and then detonated the bomb not a moment too soon was nothing short of

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