Two college students are walking through the city to get to school. When a terrorist attack happens, a number of people are killed and many more are injured. The terrorist are killed and the police move in... But then what?

What I want to know is what happens to them after the attack.

Do they get sent to the hospital (even if they are unharmed) do the cops interview them or hold them. I'm trying to understand what happens to them after the initial attack (not long term) Its a crucial plot point in my book and i want to get the details right and accurate.


The two students are unharmed (at least physically)

They are both 18 years old

they are not involved with the terrorist in anyway

You can use any Nations laws and procedures for reference as long as its first world

  • $\begingroup$ First of all, what research have you conducted on this so far? Fairly certain there are a lot of policies and regulations in the real world for this. Second, what, other than your plot, are you trying to build via this question? $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Feb 7, 2019 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre i have done research but a lot of the article are either vague or counter each other, so i want to use a wider net. if i have only vague details to work with how can i world-build. world-building is a byproduct of details it seems they go hand in hand $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2019 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ What universe is this in, Marvel, DC, Vertigo? $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2019 at 17:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Depends upon when, where, and the type of attack. It also depends upon whether your students are mere witnesses, or are unharmed victims of the attack. First responder policies have changed (much!) over time and differ on the type of attack, so it's not a surprise that you can't find a standard solution...there isn't one. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Feb 7, 2019 at 17:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A suggestion: in the question title, change "victims" to "survivors". My first instinctive answer was "They are put into body bags". $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Feb 7, 2019 at 17:54

1 Answer 1

  • They may be held in the immediate aftermath of the attack until it is established that they are not a participant. How long that is may be dependent on the number of other victims/witnesses. If there are several hundred, there would be less attention on any one of them than if there are just a dozen.
  • There will be an attempt to establish their identity beyond doubt. If they carry no ID, or if the picture is out of date, this might take some time.
  • This may be combined with treatment for possible trauma, even if they claim to be fine. A shell-shocked trauma victim would claim to be fine, after all. They're told to sit down, wrapped in a foil blanket, and watched in case they keel over.
  • They may be repeatedly interviewed by the police, and also called to testify in court.
  • They may be interviewed by the news media directly after the attack and at anniversaries (or sentencing dates, etc.). They will be able to dodge some of that if they want.
  • They may suffer from PTSD, and they might be in a position later on to get some compensation to cover the medical expenses. That assumes they get a diagnosis and treatment.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .