Help with multiple characters reacting to events

Hi there,
I am looking for a bit of help with multiple characters reacting to events.

I’m looking to have 20+ characters reacting to a bomb blast. In the blast the force will blow characters away from the blast and have them landing on the floor and up against walls etc.

Can anyone tell me if Blender has some kind of script or way of doing this (maybe using physics?) which doesn’t involve hand animating big groups of characters?

Thankyou for any help.
Cheers
Matt