In the event, their own lives were tragically cut short. Those sheltering on the upper floor were burnt to death; in some instances their silhouettes — carbonised by high temperatures — were eerily seared onto the walls, including that of a woman clutching onto her baby. Most of those in the lower hall were killed by boiling water that gushed from the shelter’s two enormous water tanks following the impact of the bombs.
Only 14 survived, but they could hardly be considered the lucky ones since the majority sustained terrible injuries from the blasts. Rescuers who rushed to the scene were frustrated by a lack of electricity to power their equipment and a thick steel door that was so hot it was glowing. All they could do was listen to the screams and the cries of the dying.