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At 8:15 am on a clear morning on August 6, 1945, 60 years ago Saturday, US Colonel Paul Tibbets, piloting the B-29 aircraft, Enola Gay, dropped a nuclear bomb called 'Little Boy' over the central part of Hiroshima in Japan.

It exploded about 2,000 feet above the city with a blast equivalent to 13 kilotons of TNT. The bomb, unarmed during takeoff to minimise risks, was armed during the flight by US Navy Captain William Parsons. With a 60-kilogram core of uranium-235, it performed as expected.

Approximately 80,000 civilians were killed on impact.

Hiroshima's population had reached a peak of over 380,000 earlier in World War II. However, before the bombing, it had decreased because of an evacuation, to around 255,000. When the air cleared, a giant scar on the land was all that was left. It was still burning and covered by a heavy cloud of smoke that could be seen for miles.

Text: Lindsay Pereira. Photograph:AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Also See: World War II: 60 years later

External link: The Guardian: Hiroshima wasn't uniquely wicked...

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