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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Picture power: Vietnam napalm attack
Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut describes the day in June 1972 when he photographed a nine-year-old girl, Kim Phuc, fleeing her village after a napalm attack - a picture that won him a Pulitzer prize.

The picture shows Kim, when her skin is burned so badly.

Behind Kim, you see all the South Vietnamese armies running with her, together.

And next to Kim, her older brother and one young brother looking back to the black smoke, and another two [members of] her family.

She looked ever so bad - I thought that she would die.

You know, I had been outside the village that morning and I took a lot of pictures. I was almost leaving the village when I saw two aeroplanes.

The first dropped four bombs and the second aeroplane dropped another four napalm [bombs].


And five minutes later, I saw people running, calling "Help! Please help!"

Kim Phuc and Nick Ut
Kim Phuc and Nick a year later

As soon as she saw me, she said: "I want some water, I'm too hot, too hot," - in Vietnamese, "Nong qua, nong qua!"

And she wanted something to drink. I got her some water. She drank it and I told her I would help her.

I picked up Kim and took her to my car. I ran up about 10 miles to Cu Chi hospital, to try to save her life.

At the hospital, there were so many Vietnamese people - soldiers were dying there. They didn't care about the children.

Then I told them: "I am a media reporter, please help her, I don't want her to die."

And the people helped her right away.

Uncle Nick

I have never had a picture like it, all my life. All my foreign editors decided they wanted to send the picture to America.

Kim Phuc
Kim Phuc now lives in Canada

At first they didn't like the picture because the girl had no clothes. Then I told them about the napalm erupting in the village.

The pictures were shown in America, they were shown everywhere. They were shown in all the Communist countries - in China and in Vietnam. They still use the photo.

Even though pictures [are taken] in every war, they still show the picture of Kim. They don't want it to happen again - not napalm.

After I took the picture of Kim, I took to her very well - I always went to visit, to see her family, and she called me Uncle Nick.

Even now I call her once a week - she lives in Toronto, Canada. We are like a family now.

Nick Ut gave this account to the BBC World Service programme, The World Today.



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