Tsunami: Scenes of Grief, Viewed From Van of Death

December 21, 2014 5:44 AM

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Some 230,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami set off by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004. A dozen countries were hit, from Indonesia to India to Africa's east coast. Scores of Associated Press journalists covered the disaster, and as the 10th anniversary approached, the AP asked 10 of them to describe the images that have stuck with them the most. This is the fifth of their stories, which are being published daily through Dec. 26.

I accompanied a body-collecting team as it plumbed wrecked villages in Banda Aceh. The body collectors followed swarms of flies, and the stench, to find bodies hidden under collapsed buildings. Once their rickety van was filled with bodies, it would dart across the city to a mass grave at the outski...

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