In a response to the many questions being asked about the nature of the way the bomb detonation was handled last Tuesday, the Munich Fire Fighters posted a brief explanation of their methods on Facebook:
Because we are still receiving questions about why we used straw during the detonation of the bomb:
They stated that, according to the Kampfmitteraeumdienst, straw is used world-wide as a technique in the insulation on bomb detonations. As a material, it is largely unbeatable due its light nature and easy availability on short notice.
Concerning the detonation of such bombs in congested areas, such as the one found in Munich last Monday, it was not an option to dampen the straw before the detonation. The goal of this particular detonation, was to drive the force of the bomb upwards and away from the buildings that surrounding it. If the straw had been dampened before detonation, the force of the explosion would have been driven downwards, causing extensive damage to building foundations and possibly to the nearest U-Bahn station.
The Facebook announcement also stated that this decision to channel the force of the detonation upwards as opposed to downwards worked really well, as can be seen on any of the videos made of the spectacle on Tuesday night.
The fire service is of the opinion that had they used wet bales of straw, which weighi roughly 100 kg, there would have been almost nothing left standing after the detonation. To give the whole operation a little more credit, they ended their announcement by stating that it was carried out in accordance with the Kampfmitteraeumdienst.