An emergency staircase saved all 71 lives from Tsunami

By Kikki - Last updated: 月曜日, 3月 28, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

 Okirai Primary School in Sanriku-cho, Ofunato City, Iwate 

 Deputy Principal, Mr. Kosei Endo points to buried emergency staircase in rubble. It had connected between the school building on the left and the municipal road where Mr. Endo stand. 

Okirai Primary School in Sanriku-cho, Ofunato city, Iwate prefecture was greatly damaged by the tsunami caused by East Japan Earthquake. Fortunately, all students and teaching and clerical staff of the school could escape unhurt.

An emergency staircase which has just equipped last December saved all 71 lives.

The elementary school is located on the site lower than a municipal road behind which level is almost same as the 2nd floor. Students and teachers in the 2nd and 3rd floors must take a detour when they refuge from the tidal wave on a municipal road. About 7 meters long emergency staircase, which connects the 2nd floor directly to the municipal road, has equipped requested by guardian of students. They really worried about lives of students.

Students were on the 1st and 2nd floors on March 11. At the time of the tsunami teachers skillfully led the students on evacuation two routes. Some students dashed out from the school and ran up the stone stairs in front, and rest of them escaped through the emergency staircase.

The dark tidal wave swept toward the school soon after finish the evacuation. The school building including the emergency staircase was crashed completely by the tsunami. 3rd grade student, Mr. So Kubota (9) looked back upon the tsunami and said, ‘I escaped death by a hair’s breadth. I was scared when the tsunami rushed soon after taking refuge.’ Deputy Principal, Mr. Kosei Endo heaved a sigh of relief in saying, ‘It was very lucky because all lives were rescued.’

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