Reunited with the Vietnamese ‘girl in the picture’

Published on May 19th, 2010 | by Admin


Kim Phuc, the girl featured in one of the most iconic photographs taken during the Vietnam War, has been reunited with the war correspondent who helped save her life 38 years ago.

When Chris last saw Kim, she was lying on a hospital bed with third-degree burns to more than half of her body, after a South Vietnamese napalm bomb attack.

It was 8 June 1972 and Chris and his crew had been in Vietnam for seven weeks, covering the conflict for ITN.

He remembers the day clearly: “That morning we’d arrived at the village of Trang Bang, which had been infiltrated by the North Vietnamese two days earlier. They were dug in, awaiting a counter-attack.

“In the late morning, two vintage Vietnamese bombers started to circle overhead – this wasn’t anything unusual, but because we had been into the village we knew something was going wrong.”

Many of the villagers had already fled to the shelter of a temple, among them nine-year-old Kim.

“We thought this would be a safe place – but then I saw the plane – it got so close,” she remembers.

“I heard the noise of the bombs then suddenly I saw the fire everywhere around me.

“I was terrified and I ran out of the fire. I saw my brother and my cousin. We just kept running. My clothes were burnt off by the fire.”

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