Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How lucky can you be?

This story fascinates me. It's about a Japanese man who survived BOTH of the atom bomb blasts in 1945.

He was idly humming along, doing his stuff, when he heard a slight commotion outside, and saw a white flash. At first he thought the light bulb in the kitchen had blown, but he soon realised what was going on. He was 3 kilometers away from ground zero, where the first atomic bomb fell in Hiroshima. And while Enola Gay was gayly flying back to base, he was dressing his wounds and waiting for a train.

He took the train to Nagasaki. Of all places in the world, that was the worst destination anyone could choose, especially after you just survived the first aggressive atomic bomb blast in the history of mankind.

At Nagasaki, his wounds were bandaged, and he reported for work at the factory. This in itself is already "wow", but the story gets better. He was telling his boss about a bomb that blew away the whole city of Hiroshima, and his boss wouldn't believe him.

(I assume that the Japanese government at the time tried to hide the facts of this event from the general public - how else is it possible that someone in a city next door did not know that a Big Mushroom Cloud appeared on the horison just a few kilometers away?)

Anyway, while he was telling his wide-eyed story to his boss, who apparently did not want to approve his compassionate leave, the next bomb hit Nagasaki, and his boss was severely injured. He survived this blast as well, and is still alive and kicking today, although the radiation had caused cancer that is now claiming his life.

I have told this story in a very light-hearted manner, but in fact I am amazed by it.

He should have at least blogged about it. It's quite a story.

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