Monday, February 16, 2009

The Myths Of Marysville : They Died In Church, On Their Knees, In Prayer

By Darryl Mason

The London Times doesn't care whether the following story is true or not, it just makes for a dramatic headline :
Estimates vary but up to 80 residents who had taken shelter at the Cumberland hotel, Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church and the Anglican Parish Christ Church lay dead. Some were said to have died on their knees, in prayer.
On Sunday and Monday, after the destruction, stories flew around amongst survivors from Marysville that dozens perished in the local churches, where they'd tried to find shelter from the inferno, but these tales were quickly dismissed. Some people had tried to shelter in at least one of these churches, but were evacuated before the flames ashed it.

I can't find even one news story from the Australian media that still claims people died in those churches, and the claim that people died on their knees in prayer appears to be a complete fabrication.

Why make up stories, or spread myths, when the truth of what happened in Marysville is far more dramatic, and terrible?

UPDATE : I submitted a comment to the London Times story, using the feedback box on the same page, at 2am, Sydney Time, pointing out the claim of many deaths in Marysville's two churches was a rumour dismissed a week ago by locals and officials. Six hours later, the story remains uncorrected, and the headlines remains : 'They Died On Their Knees In Prayer.'