November 16, 1985
Armero, Tolima, Colombia
Omayra Sánchez (15) dies of gangrene and/or hypothermia 60 hours after being buried by a lahar (a mudslide of volcanic ash, water, and debris)

Omayra and her family had been awake at the time the lahar, concerned about the eruption and ashfall. When the lahar hit the home, Omayra became pinned by pieces of the house and, it was later discovered, her aunt’s arms were wrapped tightly around Omayra’s legs and feet. Because of the positioning of Omayra’s legs trapped beneath the concrete, it was determined she would need to have her legs amputated to free her, but as she was submerged, amputation was not feasible.

Omayra’s calm and dignified demeanor impressed journalist and rescue workers who comforted her and brought her sweets during the 60 hours she was trapped before she died of either gangrene, hypothermia, or a combination of the two. The photo attached was taken shortly before her death, showcasing the extreme transformation her body went through including her eyes reddening, her hands whitening, and her face swelling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s