Phung Thi Tiem:
around 10 p.m. The alert siren sounded. I rushed my thirteen-year-old
son and my husband to the shelter. As we were nearing the shelter, I
heard some rumbling noise above me. Then bombs fell down from the sky
and we were knocked into the shelter.
Phung Thi Tiem:
It was around 10 pm. I was
supposed to evacuate from the city, but I decided not to. My husband and
I and our thirteen years old son were at home. My son had come home to
pick up some rice. As soon as we heard the alert siren, we also heard a
rumbling noise above us. We rushed to the bomb shelter, but the bombs
fell down as we were on our way. We got thrown into the bomb shelter. I
lost consciousness. When I regained my senses and climbed out of the
bomb shelter, the entire area was smoke filled. I then took my husband
and my son out of the bombed out area.
As soon as this was done, I returned to area again
with a whistle, a flashlight and a red band in my hands. From under the
rubble and from inside the shelters I heard people screaming for help.
Heaps of bricks and concrete were now covering the tops of the shelters.
I called on other people to help me pull the victims out of the
shelters. Some people recovered right away, but others were slow to
regain their consciousness and still others were wounded. We stopped the
passing cars and threw these wounded people into these cars to take them
to the hospitals for emergency treatment.
The next day, the day after
that and five or six days thereafter, we still that to work continually
to get to the people inside the bomb shelters. During the first night,
we had to use pickforks, shovels, hoes, and crowbars to pry loose the
brick walls and the concrete slabs that had fallen down on top of the
shelters. But we could not get down too far working with our hands like
that. The next day the government sent over cranes to lift the large
beams so that the bodies underneath could be pulled out. Coffins were
then brought to the scene to put the bodies into. For days after that we
still had to dig into the rubble to pull out the corpses.