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article imageSurvivor of two atomic bombs dead at 93

By Kevin Jess     Jan 6, 2010 in World
Tsutomu Yamaguchi died Monday morning as the result of stomach cancer. He was the the only person to have survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. He was 93.
On August 6, 1945 Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company. That was the day an American B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. Mr. Yamaguchi was just stepping off a tram when Little Boy was dropped 3 kilometers away bringing about serious burns to his upper body. He spent the night in Hiroshima albeit fitfully, in a bomb shelter with his eardrums destroyed and temporarily blinded.
Yamaguchi's hometown was Nagasaki, where he returned the next day, only to again be 3 kilometers away when Fat Man was dropped on August 9, 1945, reports Associated Press.
It's a horrifying story but Wednesday the mayor of Nagasaki said, "a precious storyteller has been lost."
Other double survivors have been identified but Mr. Yamaguchi is the only person who has been officially recognized by the Japanese government.
Concerning this recognition he reportedly said, "My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die."
Yamaguchi spent his later years as an activist looking to bring about a ban to all nuclear weapons. He even spoke to the United Nations in 2006 when a documentary in which he appeared was shown to the General Assembly.
In a telephone interview in March of 2009 he told The Independent who used his daughter as a translator, "I can't understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs. How can they keep developing these weapons?"
Approximately 140,000 people died from the nuclear bomb attack at Hiroshima and another 70,000 perished in Nagasaki.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi was one of 260,000 survivors of the two bombs, but whenever he was asked how he could have been so lucky to have survived not only one , but two blasts, he just chuckled because he really didn't know.
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