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.”

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

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

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

5. Pripyat’s Amusement Park.

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.

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.”

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