First Japanese to report Hiroshima atomic bomb dies at 86

Yoshie Oka, the first person to raise the alarm outside Hiroshima that the Japanese city had been hit by an atomic bomb, has died aged 86, media and acquaintances said today.

Yoshie Oka, Hiroshima atomic bomb, Fukuyama, Imperial Japanese Army, Barack Obama, US president
After the bomb fell, she contacted another military unit in the city of Fukuyama east of Hiroshima, local media including public broadcaster NHK reported. (Reuters)

Yoshie Oka, the first person to raise the alarm outside Hiroshima that the Japanese city had been hit by an atomic bomb, has died aged 86, media and acquaintances said today. Oka was 14 years old on August 6, 1945 and working in Hiroshima as a communications operator at an underground command centre of the Imperial Japanese Army.

After the bomb fell, she contacted another military unit in the city of Fukuyama east of Hiroshima, local media including public broadcaster NHK reported.

Also watch:

“Hiroshima is almost destroyed,” she said. “We were hit by a new type of bomb.” Local media said she died of malignant lymphoma on May 19 in hospital in Hiroshima after spending years recounting her experiences of the bombing and its aftermath to visitors and students in the city.

“She was an honest person who called a spade a spade,” said Fumio Kajiya, also an atom bomb survivor who worked with Oka in telling stories of the bombing. “We have lost another great eyewitness,” Kajiya told AFP.

American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload, dubbed “Little Boy”, over the city at 8:15 am local time. It marked the first use of an atomic weapon and ultimately claimed the lives of some 140,000 people.

Some died immediately while others succumbed to injuries or radiation-related illnesses weeks, months and years later. In May last year Barack Obama made a historic visit to Hiroshima, becoming the first serving US president to do so. Ahead of his visit, Oka reportedly said she wanted him “to firmly see how innocent citizens suffered”.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express Telegram Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.