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Photographer Fukushima Kikujiro – Confronting Images of Atomic Bomb Survivors via Japan Focus

Kikujiro’s Lucky Escape from the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

Just before 8:16 am on August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb named Little Boy dropped from the Enola Gay B-29 bomber and exploded 580 meters above Shima Hospital near the Aioi Bridge in the center of Hiroshima City. After the bomb was detonated, powerful heat rays were released for approximately 0.2 to 0.3 seconds, heating the ground to temperatures ranging from 3,000 to 4,000ºC. These heat rays instantly burnt people to ashes and melted bricks and rocks within a 1.5 kilometer radius of the hypocenter. In addition, heat rays burnt buildings, triggered large-scale fires and ignited an enormous firestorm. The blast and fire from the atomic bomb destroyed all 75,000 wooden houses within a 2.5 kilometer radius, leaving only the skeletal remains of a few concrete buildings. In the areas surrounding the hypocenter, people were slammed into walls and crushed to death by collapsing houses. Injuries were sustained from flying glass and other debris even in areas far from the hypocenter. People who survived the blast, many of them severely injured, ran through the flames trying to escape, but many burnt to death.

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