Ukrainian firefighters battle two blazes near Chernobyl nuclear power plant; over 60 acres of forest affected

Firefighters in Ukraine put out blazes in two areas of the forest surrounding the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power station on Monday.

The nuclear plant was evacuated in 1986 following an explosion that caused radioactive contamination.

According to a report in Associated Press, emergency services in Ukraine said that one fire covered an area of 12 acres while the second one spread about 50 acres.

 Ukrainian firefighters battle two blazes near Chernobyl nuclear power plant; over 60 acres of forest affected

The recent fire near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. AP

While the zone is mostly unpopulated, the 200 people living close by stayed back despite being asked to leave, the report added.

Yehor Firsov, the head of the state ecological inspection service, told the agency that radiation levels at the fire were higher than normal but emergencies service said that radiation levels in Ukranian capital Kyiv were within the normal range.

Firsov had earlier taken to Facebook to share the news of the high radiation level in the forest fire. “There is bad news -- radiation is above normal in the fire's centre,” he wrote.

In April, 1986, the explosion in a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl led to widespread contamination and wreaked havoc. Two operating staff died immediately after the explosion, while many were hospitalized due to the radiation and finally 28 more people lost their lives.

The Chernobyl incident is considered to be one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has ever seen.

Updated Date: Apr 06, 2020 15:55:36 IST



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