Girl With Third Degree Burns At Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital

A teenage student, working on either firebreak demolition or anti-aircraft training, was caught in the open when the atomic attack happened. Her face was severely burned. Here she lies on a tatami mat outside the Sekijuuji (Red Cross) Hospital in Senda-machi Naka-ku District. To weak to drink from the water bottle in the extreme lower right, she probably died within a few hours or days, as most of the people burned this way soon perished after the attack. Such disfigurement made identification even by friends and family difficult, and many could not even speak their own name because of their injuries. Internal organs as well as skin was burned as well. Mass unmarked graves were hastily dug for the many corpses piling up around the hospital and all over the city. Built in 1939, the Red Cross Hospital in Hiroshima was 5000 feet (about 1,500 meters) from the epicenter. The wooden buildings in the courtyard caught fire and burned, but the ferro-concrete reinforced main structure withstood the blast but suffered significant damage in the attack; five patients and 69 staff were killed. As the injured and the dead piled up inside and outside, medical supplies and trained personnel ran low. A count of how many died waiting for emergency medical attention will never be known. The hospital opened a wing for Hibakusha (explosion-affected people) in 1956. the original facility was torn down in 1993, and part of the original structure damaged in the blast was retained as a memorial in 1995. In the 1990s doctors from Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital journeyed to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to provide their atomic survivors' expertise to those affected by the Chernobyl disaster.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Friday, August 10, 1945
Hiroshima Prefecture