I was head nurse at Nagasaki Medical College Hospital. On that morning, hearing an air-raid warning, as usual, we led patients into a basement shelter. After a while, the air-raid warning was lifted, so I went upstairs to a nurse station and began to put some urgent documents in order. Suddenly I heard a roaring sound. Thinking this strange, I tried to hide myself under the desk, but just then I felt a sharp pain in my back, as though something hard had hit it.
There seemed to be both a brightening and a darkening, .I cannot describe my inpression. It felt like a bomb had exploded right over my head. I regained consciousness only to find that a rack, which had stood behind me before the explosion, had toppled onto my back and medicines and broken pieces of glass were scattered around.
After a while, I pulled myself out from under the fallen rack. The corridor, leading to the basement room, where the patients and my colleagues were, was filled with debris from the collapsed ceiling. I walked this way and that and managed to get to the room, where I found that almost all of the people were safe. Yet, no one knew the whereabouts of two of my junior nurses, who had gone to the treatment room upstairs to get medicinal alcohol.
Since smoke was coming into the basement, I left the building with one of my frightened colleagues to check on the situation outside. We made our way among burning trees toward Mt. Anakobo behind the hospital. On the way, I felt something warm running down my back, but I just fled desperately.
People with burned red skin dripping like burst balloons, people who were burned completely, people who looked well… All of us climbed in the same direction, forming a line as if we were ants crawling up the mountain. It was like a scene of hell. The two of us managed to go over the top of Mt. Anakobo and to finally see our other fellow nurses at Mt. Konpira. However, I felt such a severe pain in my chest that I could hardly breathe, so I decided to spend the night sitting there. It was an eerie night with sounds of explosions continuing until morning.
The next day, we went down the mountain because we were worried about the two missing nurses. The Urakami area was still a sea of fire. Said a nurse who had been to the hospital to confirm the situation : ” One is safe in spite of injury but the other was killed instantly because an iron pole hit her.”
Everything simply looked like a scene from hell. I had a continuous pain in my back. Two months later, when I went to Omura Navy Hospital (now Omura National Central Hospital), the doctor said that I had suffered broken ribs.
NAGASAKIKITA HIGH SCHOOL (12/21/2005)