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Bomb explosion victim faces difficult times

Date Posted: 2010-01-14

One year after a World War II era bomb exploded beneath him, Jun Kohagura still is struggling to put his life back together again.

The 26-year-old construction worker was installing water pipe in Itoman City when the power shovel struck the bomb buried several feet beneath the ground. Some 20 minutes after he began crushing stones, at 8:20 a.m. January 14th 2009, the bomb exploded, seriously injuring him. He suffered loss of his right eye, and his left eye was damaged to the point he has only 0.03% of his vision. Transported to a nearby medical center, Kohagura was lucky to come back from unconsciousness an hour later, his face swathed in bandages and a tracheotomy tube in his throat aiding his breathing.

The accident stirred new attention about the dangers of unexploded ordnance from the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, and has resulted in increase of workers’ accident compensation money. Kohagura says he’s beginning to face life once more, and he’s not afraid for his children to look at his face. The first months after the accident, he wouldn’t let them see him because of fears he’d cause them to worry.

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