Ukraine marks 30th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster
Ukraine is holding commemorations to mark the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.
Sirens were sounded at the same moment as the first explosion at the reactor, in the early hours of 26 April 1986.
The meltdown at the plant remains the worst nuclear disaster in history.
An uncontrolled reaction blew the roof off, spewing out a cloud of radioactive material which drifted across Ukraine’s borders, into Russia, Belarus and across a swathe of northern Europe.
The relatives of those who died attended candle-lit vigils at several churches, including in the capital Kiev and in Slavutych, a town built to re-house workers who lived near the nuclear plant.
“This tragedy will stay with us till the end of our lives. I won’t be able to forget it anyway,” said Vasyl Markin, who had been working in Chernobyl at the time of the disaster, and attended the service in Slavutych.
Some former residents returned to the area, now derelict and overgrown, ahead of the anniversary.
Zoya Perevozchenko, 66, lived in Pripyat, the town inhabited by Chernobyl workers which was abandoned in the wake of the accident.
Vir: Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, BBC News (World)