While nuclear technician Hisashi Ouchi helped a colleague in pouring liters of uranium into a large metal vat, he was blissfully oblivious that that moment would be his last without agonizing pain.
A freak chemical reaction at a power plant in Japan more than 20 years ago left one of its technicians in agony while being kept alive by doctors as he "cried blood" and his "skin melted."
At the Tokaimura Nuclear Power Plant in 1999, Hisashi Ouchi was assisting a colleague in pouring liters of uranium into a huge metal vat.
However, the liquid reached a "critical point" due to a miscalculation, which released harmful neutron radiation and gamma rays into the atmosphere.
None of the guys involved had the necessary training to carry out such a sensitive task, and it was discovered later that 16kg of uranium was in the mixture when the limit was just 2.4kg.
Because workers were manually transferring the solution, they reportedly had no way of measuring how much had been used.
35-year-old Hisashi Ouchi was the most radiation-exposed person. As a result, he suffered burns, dizziness, and violent vomiting, which was the start of 83 days of living hell for him.
It was found that Ouchi had absorbed 17 Sieverts of radiation, the largest dose any living human has been exposed to and more than twice the dose needed to kill a person.
The emergency responders at Chornobyl were exposed to only 0.25sv.
The plant vicinity was put on lockdown following the incident, and Ouchi was rushed to the University of Tokyo Hospital.
Doctors discovered that Ouchi had no white blood cells, and he needed major skin grafts and multiple blood transfusions.
In a bid to help his immune system to recover, his sister also donated stem cells.
As a result of the exposure, Ouchi began "crying blood" as he bled from his eyes.
Despite the doctor's efforts to keep him alive, he is alleged to have pleaded with them to stop a week into his treatment.
He reportedly shouted: "I can't take it anymore! I am not a guinea pig!"
He became increasingly frustrated and said he "wanted to go home" and demanded medical staff "stop it."
About two months after the tragedy, on the 59th day of his time in the hospital, Ouchi's heart gave out three times.
However, at the family's request, doctors were able to restart it.
This did not last as on December 21 of the same year, Ouchi's body eventually gave out, and he died due to organ failure.
The technicians' supervisor, Yutaka Yokokawa, got treatment as well, but after three months, he was discharged due to minor radiation sickness. He went on to face charges of negligence in October 2000.
Afterward, the nuclear fuel company JCO agreed to pay $121 million to settle 6,875 compensation claims from people and organizations that had been adversely affected by the radiation from the accident or exposed to it.