MINAMI-SOMA, Japan (AP) — The doctors and nurses at Futaba Hospital pleaded for help as a radioactive plume wafted over their hospital. They had been ordered out but had no vehicles to evacuate the hundreds of patients in their care. After two days of waiting in the cold with no electricity, help finally came.
Nearly two dozen patients died in the chaotic, daylong odyssey that followed.
Japan’s government says only one person, an overworked employee at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, died as a result of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. But one year later, details from a new report and interviews with local authorities show many more perished because of bad planning and miscommunication between government agencies.