• Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Postman who survived Nagasaki A-bomb dies at 88

  • Published at 08:42 am August 30th, 2017
Postman who survived Nagasaki A-bomb dies at 88
Prominent nuclear disarmament campaigner Sumiteru Taniguchi, who was delivering mail in Nagasaki when the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945, died on Wednesday at the age of 88. Taniguchi, once considered a front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize, died of cancer at a hospital in the southwestern Japanese city, according to Nihon Hidankyo, a group that represents survivors of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The then-postman, aged only 16 when the attack happened in the closing days of World War II, suffered horrific burns to his back and left arm that took years to heal properly. He had been riding his bicycle some 1.8km from the epicentre of the blast. "All of a sudden, after seeing a rainbow-like light from the back, I was blown by a powerful blast and smashed to the ground," he said at a commemoration ceremony for the Nagasaki bombing in 2015. "When I woke up, the skin of my left arm from the shoulder to the tip of my fingers was trailing like a rag. I put my hand to my back and found my clothing was gone, and there was slimy, burnt skin all over my hand. "Bodies burned black, voices calling for help from collapsed buildings, people with flesh falling off and their guts falling out... This place became a sea of fire. It was hell." He became one of the few early faces of the bombing aftermath when US military pictures of him recovering in hospital, his entire back an agonising slab of melted flesh, were beamed around the world. Taniguchi, who spent about three-and-a-half years in hospital after the blast, went on to become a prominent disarmament campaigner, making dozens of speeches both in Japan and overseas about his experience. "I fear that people, especially the younger generations, are beginning to lose interest," he said in a 2003 interview with AFP. "I want the younger generations to remember that nuclear weapons will never save humanity. It is an illusion to believe that the nuclear umbrella will protect us." The US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, killing around 140,000 people. The toll includes those who survived the explosion itself but died soon after from severe radiation exposure. Three days later the US dropped a plutonium bomb on the port city of Nagasaki, killing some 74,000 people.
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail