Memories of nuclear bomb survivors - Part 1 Chapter 4

A train arrives


The further she went, the more intense the fire became, and Chizue could not find out where the roads were leading her.

The faces of her grandparents crossed her mind - they surely had to be there at home. However, she finally gave up trying to get home and stood still in despair not knowing where to go. Suddenly she heard a voice calling from far away: "The train is coming! People, who can climb up, can ride on it!"
The train was standing halfway between Urakami and Michinoo stations. There were not many people, who reached the train and Chizue saw there were also no military or rescue teams.

She learned later that this place was about 500 to 600 meters from the detonation point of the atomic bomb. She learned that within 500 meters radius of the epicentre all the living things were killed instantly and all wooden houses were razed to the ground. The cause of this inferno was the heat over seven thousand degrees Celsius generated by the bomb coupled with a violent shockwave from the explosion. A blast of radioactive rays followed. The world within this circle had changed completely in seconds but at that stage no one had any idea of what had happened - or what was still to come.

Chizue dragged herself to the train barefoot. Not many people had got there.
“Not a lot of time had passed after the bombing. Maybe this was the reason why there was as yet no chaos.” Chizue said.

The people with relatively minor injuries got into the passenger coaches. Some of the new arrivals had to be heaved up into the coach by the other passengers because the coach steps were quite high. It was then unavoidable that their burned skin peeled off easily.

The seriously wounded were taken into the goods’ trucks, which were coupled to the passenger coaches.

To Chizues surprise some of the passengers were still dressed neatly, although some of them had blood‐smeared faces. There was broken glass under the seats. People looked confused and when the wounded with severe burns were put into the coach there was dead silence and nobody said anything to Chizue.

The train had been going towards Nagasaki when the locomotive driver received news of the explosion of a new type of bomb. The passengers were asked to remain seated and the train kept on going as far as possible until it stopped behind Michinoo station. There it picked up Chizue and the other wounded and returned to Isahaya station where many people were waiting with bike trailers or stretchers to pick up the wounded.
Chizue was still conscious when they helped her onto a bicycle trailer, at which point she fainted.

But the long day was not over yet.