Thirty years ago, on 26 April 1986, one of the four reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant adjacent to the city of Pripyat exploded, leading to a nuclear meltdown.

Hundreds of thousands of people were permanently evacuated from the area to flee radiation sickness, but the accident is being held responsible for thousands of cancer cases. The town of Pripyat, two miles away from the site, remains an abandoned, contaminated wasteland, frozen in time, and taken over by nature.

1. “The entrance sign on the outskirts of Pripyat, founded in 1970. The 50,000 population city was evacuated in 1986 following the explosion of reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station.”

Pripyat: City Sign by Barry Mangham on 500px.com

2. “Empty houses among huge trees in the abandoned city of Pripyat.”

View of the abandoned city of Pripyat by Marian Botvyn on 500px.com

3. All the inhabitants of Pripyat were forcibly evacuated, never to return.

... by Josh Graham on 500px.com

Pripyat by Ivan Lawrence on 500px.com

Sundown by Iain Bolton on 500px.com

4. “Children’s gas masks covering the floor in Pripyat Elementary School.”

Breathe by Iain Bolton on 500px.com

5. Pripyat’s Amusement Park.

The Pripyat Ferris Wheel by Kevin Leitch on 500px.com

The bumper cars, ferris wheel, and other rides were meant to celebrate May Day, which was to take place a few days after the accident.

passing time by Adam Thompson on 500px.com

inhospitable by Björn Berger on 500px.com

6. “After the nuclear disaster, over 200,000 people […] were evacuated to other cities. Some, desperately unhappy with their new lives began to break back into the exclusion zone to resettle despite the risks.”

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Resettlers by Nick_Moulds on 500px.com

Featured image: via

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