The Prison Cell That Saved the Only Survivor of a Volcanic Eruption



Ludger Sylbaris of St. Pierre, Martinique was lucky enough to be arrested for getting into a drunken brawl. The prison cell that he was placed into saved his life when a volcanic eruption destroyed the city on May 8, 1902:

Mt. Pelee exploded and a cloud of smoke darkened the sky for fifty miles around. A cloud of superheated volcanic gas and dust rolled out of the volcano at hundreds of miles per hour destroying everything in an eight mile radius. Within a single minute the 1,075 degree pressure wave had flattened every building in the city of St. Pierre and anyone unlucky enough to be in its way instantly caught fire and burned to death. Even those in shelter were suffocated as the wave of gas, hotter than fire, burned up the oxygen and replaced it was deadly gases. People lungs were burnt to a crisp form taking a single breath, and after the eruption the city burned for day. The explosion instantly killed the over 30,000 residents of the island.


A few people made it out to sea in time to survive, but Sylbaris was the only person confirmed to be in the city at the time of the eruption and live through the experience.

Link via io9 | Photo: image by flickr user Gaƫl Chardon used under Creative Commons license

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Re:>>and after the eruption the city burned for day.>>

The city bruend for "A Day" of "for Days"? Somebody really needs to check the typos, otherwise, cool post!
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"1,075 degree" what? F or C? Not everyone is an American, you know. And I really am suspect of the 4-digit resolution that the number implies.
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"People lungs were burnt to a crisp form taking a single breath"?

Why do we put up with this? Do we no longer care about quality?
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