At nearly 08:15 he remembers lifting his right arm to wipe the sweat off his brow, when suddenly a blinding flash filled the sky. He recalls:
Suddenly I was facing a gigantic fireball. It was at least five times bigger and 10 times brighter than the sun. It was hurtling directly towards me, a powerful flame that was a remarkable pale yellow, almost the color of white.
The deafening noise came next. I was surrounded by the loudest thunder I had ever heard. It was the sound of the universe exploding. In that instant, I felt a searing pain that spread through my entire body. It was as if a bucket of boiling water had been dumped over my body and scoured my skin.