Pompeii was hit by a cloud of noxious, super-heated gas. People who were left behind were killed on the spot. Their bodies were made rigid by the pumice and ash that fell upon them.
In 79AD this town was quite Greco-Romano. The Greeks were admired for their "style" and "culture". But it didn't help them get saved by the boats which they expected to arrive and save them.
It is a chillingly awesome sight...