The air raid on Kham Thien District, Hanoi
NGUYEN THI TUYET: 281, Take 1
Nguyen Thi Tuyet, 69, canteen shop worker.
you describe to us the night of the bombing?
Nguyen Thi Tuyet:
It was about 10 p.m. when I
heard the alert siren. I rushed out into the street to get to the
individual shelters there. I also managed to get a number of people who
were in the streets to all get down into the shelters. A moment later, I
heard a lot of gunfire and the rumbling noise of the airplanes. I didn't
hear any explosion, only felt an extremely strong gust of wind blowing
down into the shelter. A moment later I heard children crying and adults
yelling for help. I then lifted the lid of my foxhole and climbed out. I
looked in the direction of the rows of two storied and three storied
buildings and realized that they had been bombed to the ground.
I hurriedly called all the
people in the neighboring shelters to get out and rush to the
three-storied buildings to try to rescue people. The buildings had been
of bricks and concrete, and the best we could do at the time was to get
to places where we heard voices from under calling out for help and then
picked out the bricks and the pieces of the rubble with our bare hands.
We used our helmets too in carrying the bricks. We were able to rescue
thirteen persons, among them were three women and three children ranging
in age from fifteen to twenty. One young woman had her arm completely
smittened by a bomb fragment and was unconscious. We used a table top
nearby to carry her to a car and took her away to the hospital.
282, take 1
of people were still caught inside the shelters and yet you had no way
of getting to them to rescue them. What were your feelings at the
Nguyen Thi Tuyet:
for the people who were still in their shelters, covered by the slabs of
concrete, I heard them crying for help. But there was nothing I could
do, so I felt very frustrated, outraged and very painful on the inside.
It was because of the American bombings that all of these friends were
lying down there dead or dying. But this did not deter me from going to
other shelters to try to rescue other people.