The volcano next door

Rescuers

'Beyond imagining'

Tease photo

Helicopters to hell

The cockpit of the HH-1H Huey helicopter was silent as the crew surveyed the steaming hell of ash, gases and volcanic debris below. Mike Cooney, a pararescueman with the Air Force Reserve’s elite 304th Rescue Squadron, then based in Portland, knew at once that anyone who had been down there was beyond his help.

Tease photo

Working amid devastation

For Grover Laseke, the eruption of Mount St. Helens wasn’t a spectacle. It was a grueling, dangerous, serious job. Grueling as a trek through ash-blasted wasteland, dangerous as a car crash, serious as a body bag: all part of his job in the days following May 18, 1980.

Tease photo

Caring for the injured

What Sandy Vaughan found awaiting her at work at 10 p.m. defied logic. “It was a strange, strange feeling,” the Vancouver nurse said. “Whoever thought you would be taking care of a volcano victim?

Science

Go inside the mountain

Victims

When nature turns deadly

Rescuers

'Beyond imagining'

Survivors

Narrow escapes

Memories

Recollections of May 18