BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A historic earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, causing a nuclear power meltdown. The US Navy rushed in to help—but are those sailors now paying the price? Nearly 100 believe that mission ruined their health.
Vic Carter reports a Navy lieutenant from Maryland who can no longer walk is demanding someone take responsibility for what’s happened.
On March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes ever shook Japan. It triggered a tsunami. Waves more than 100 feet high slammed into the coast, killing thousands.
When the wall of water smashed into the Fukishima Nuclear Power Plant, an explosion spewed radiation into the air and water, creating yet another tragedy.
The United States military sped into the disaster zone to help, not knowing it was headed into the path of a radiation plume.
Now, three years after that exposure, at least 100 of those first responders are suffering from unexplained illnesses like cancer, leukemia, bleeding and hair loss—and they’re blaming it on radiation poisoning from Fukushima.
“When you’ve got a nuclear power plant that’s melting down, how can you not expect health risks to come from that?” said Lt. Steve Simmons.
Lt. Steve Simmons was on board the USS Ronald Reagan, the first ship to arrive for Operation Tomodachi—the Japanese word for friends.
“I don’t think anybody on board really knew the full scope of what was going on,” Simmons said.
Seven months after arriving home to his family in Maryland from his deployment, Simmons’ health started to deteriorate.
“One day, I was coming out of the bathroom and my legs just buckled on me and that was pretty much it,” he said. Continue reading...