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Michael Ward, Last Survivor of MOVE Bombing, Dies

'Birdie Africa,' Child Icon Of 1985 Philly MOVE Bombing, Dies

Michael Ward, one of only two survivors of the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, died on Friday.

Ward, who was known as "Birdie Africa," became an icon of the disaster. It happened on May 13, 1985, when police had an armed confrontation with the radical group MOVE. Police were intent on removing the members from their fortified compound and as the day wore on, after thousands of rounds of ammunition were fired, police dropped a bomb from a helicopter on the group's house in West Philadelphia. The explosives started a fire that destroyed 61 row houses and killed 11 people, including five children. Ward, who was 13 at the time, came to national prominence when he ran naked out of the burning compound, his body covered in second- and third-degree burns.

NPR member station WHYY reports that Ward, 41, was found unconscious in a hot tub aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean on Friday.

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