Testimony of Yosaku Mikami

Next is Mr. Yosaku Mikami. He was 32 years old when he was exposed. When the bomb was exploded, he was on a streetcar which was running in Sendamachi, 1.9 km from the hypocenter. He was a fireman. On the morning of August 6, he was on his way back from the night duty to Ujina going to his home in Sakaemachi. The rest of his family was all evacuated one day before.

I was stationed at Ujina fire station. Our duty was to work 24 hours from 8 o'clock in the morning to 8 o'clock in the following morning. We were divided into 2 groups for the shifts. On that day, August 6, I was just about to leave work and go home at 8 o'clock in the morning. Shortly before it, the all clear was sounded. So I started to go home to Sakaemachi. When I reached the streetcar stop, I found out that I had missed the car by just a few minutes. So I had to wait about ten minutes more before I got on the next car. The car passed through Miyuki Bashi and was approaching the train office, when I saw the blue flash from the window. At the same time, smoke filled the car which prevented me even from seeing person standing directly in front of me. In about half an hour, I went out of the car. I noticed that the fire was burning everywhere. The sky was dull as it covered by clouds. I decided to go back to work and I ran back to the fire station. There was nothing to drink at all. Can you see there is a streetcar over there near the fire station? When I reached that corner, I jumped onto the fire truck with my colleagues who were on duty on that day. I joined them. We drove along the trouble way but we had to return to the fire station soon because there was too much fire and we couldn't do anything at all. When we were on our way back to the station, and approaching the office of the Tobacco and Salt Public Corporation, we found that the warehouse was on fire. So we stopped there and went inside to put out the fire. When the fire had come down, we decided to go to the main fire station to find out what had happened. We passed by the Miyuki Bridge. It was so hot as the result of the heat produced by the fire. The electric-light poles burned down. All of us wore raincoats to protect us from the fire. We also wore caps for the same purpose. Using buckets, we threw water over ourselves when we reached the water tanks. Finally, we reached the main fire station. I guess that about 5 or 6 of my coworkers were there already. Then we were told to take care of the seriously injured. We drove a chief to a hospital and then we drove towards Miyuki Bridge and Takano Bridge, where we found a lot of people dying. There were about 4 or 5 firemen on the fire truck. The men in good condition were clinging to the side of the car. We heard many people swearing, screaming, shouting, asking for help. Since our order was to help the most heavily injured, we searched for them. We tried to open the eyes of the injured and we found out they were still alive. We tried to carry them by their arms and legs and to place them onto the fire truck. But this was difficult because their skin was peeled off as we tried to move them. They were all heavily burned. But they never complained but they felt pain even when their skin was peeling off. We carried the victims to the prefectural hospital. Soon afterwards, the hospital was full, so then we carried the injured to the Akatsuki Military Hospital. On the following day, we decided to visit the small fire stations throughout the town. I believe there were about 20 or 30 small stations with only 7 or 8 firemen each. Those small stations were temporary place near police stations and city halls during war time. The workers stationed at the important places were all killed. I visited one of the fire stations and inside the burned fire engine, I found a man who was scorched to death. He looked as if he was about to start the fire engine to fight the fire. Inside the broken building, I also found several dead men. I guess they were trapped inside the building. Many of my colleagues who survived on that day died one month later. Some of them lost their hair before their death. Yes. There were lots of firemen who died one or one and half months later. I feel very sorry for them. I also feel deeply sorry for those who lost their families. I sincerely hope that there would be no more nuclear war.

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