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Percussion or Concussion, It Still Was a Bomb

May 18, 1985|From a Times Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA — What to call what was dropped on a MOVE row house has gotten almost as much attention as why it was dropped.

Technically, it is Du Pont Tovex, similar to dynamite. Two one-pound tubes of it were placed in a satchel and dropped from a helicopter onto MOVE's roof.

Mayor W. Wilson Goode began the week calling it a "percussion hand grenade," but by Thursday he had shifted to "concussion device," saying that percussion had to do with musical instruments.

In an interview, Goode said that what he thought he was approving for use was a "stun device."

At news conferences, Goode and reporters have battled verbally over the question of what was dropped onto the row house roof and set it ablaze. Goode refused to budge off percussion or concussion.

Other city officials have danced around the question, referring to the "incendiary device," the "satchel charge" and, in a stroke of creativity, an "improvised explosive entry device."

Nevertheless, virtually all the hundreds of reporters from around the country and overseas--along with just about everybody else in town--have no qualms about giving it a more simple name: a bomb.

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