Nichibei Shinbun, 1939.05.06https://hojishinbun.hoover.org/?a=d&d=jan19390506-01.1.1
Nipponese Air Fleet Bombards Chiang Capital
LIGHT PLANT HIT IN RAID
Airport, Arsenal In Line of Attack By Nippon
By ROBERT P. MARTIN (Copyright 1939 by United Press)
CHUNGKING. -May 5—(U.P)— Japanese planes bombed this Chinese nationalist capital yesterday in one of the most devastating raids of the long Chinese-Japanese undeclared war.
At midnight Chinese authorities estimated the casualties at 3,000.
The French and British consulates were hit but there were no reports that any Occidentals had been hurt.
Twenty-seven Japanese bombers eluded Chinese pursuit planes — some of them reportedly manned by Soviet Russian pilots flying for the Chinese air force — and dumped scores of bombs near the airport, the arsenal, and other centers.
Many bombs fell in business and residential areas.
Correspondents, whose movements were restricted, by police, were unable to confirm the Chinese casualty estimates but it was certain the figure was high.
A number of fires were started. (The Chinese estimated that 1500 Chinese had been killed or injured to earlier raids and it was possible these figures were included to the 3,000 estimates although dispatches were not clear on this point).
The light plant was hit and all streets were dark except for light from the flames of burning buildings.
Many square blocks in the business and residential areas were afire.
A United Press correspondent touring the area saw scores of dead and wounded.
The Japanese planes dropped more than 100 bombs including 200-pound demolition units and smaller incendiary ones.
All communications were down and this dispatch was filed by radio from gunboats lying off the water front in the Yangtze River.
Seven sections of the city had been turned into roaring infernos within a few hours after the attack. The city's limited number of modern fire engines was unable to cope with the disaster. Thousands of coolies carried water from the river and threw it on the flames with little effect.
Rescue workers dug frantically in the debris in an effort to rescue trapped persons. In some areas spreading fires forced the workers to flee leaving the screaming injured men and women to be burned alive.
The fires spread rapidly at first but after hours of work firemen had brought five of them partly under control.
Coolies, impressed into service, tore down buildings in an effort to limit the remaining fires.