30 000 People killed because of a Political Election
Although the volcanic activity of Mont Pelee was increasing, the population was encouraged to stay by the political party in power because they wished to be re-elected in the upcoming elections on May 11th. The political leaders ran advertisements in the local paper, Les Colonies, claiming that the populace of St. Pierre were in no danger. On May 8, 1902 the fatal eruption of Mont Pelee occurred, destroying the city and eventually killed all except one of the inhabitants of St. Pierre.
One man managed to run out of town before the cloud of firy ash came pouring down. He suffered from severe burns from the volcanic gas and died shortly after.
The English steamer Roddam, contained 30 people and was able to sail to St. Lucia before the harbour was flooded causing ships to be capsized and burned. All of it crew members died a few days after there arrival due to severe burns.
The only person to survive was a prisoner who was locked in his jail cell.