11:22 GMT +317 October 2019
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    The Gomel Region -- part of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exclusion zone

    Fire Rages in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Reports

    © Sputnik / Andrei Aleksandrov
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    A catastrophic nuclear accident took place in the USSR in April 1986 when an explosion rocked the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant located near the now abandoned town of Pripyat in Ukraine.

    A fire has flared up in a forest located in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine’s emergencies service reported. The fire has engulfed an area of 5 hectares near the village of Bychki on the territory of the "Severnaya Puscha" establishment. 

    According to local authorities, reports about the blaze first emerged at 5:40 pm local time. 

    Some 18 people have taken part in extinguishing the fire along with three firefighting units.

    READ MORE: It's Safe to Eat Finland's 'Chernobyl Mushrooms' — Watchdog

    The Chernobyl plant, named after V.I. Lenin, was the first ever nuclear power plant built on Ukrainian soil. On the night of 25-26 April 1986, a failed experiment aimed at testing new equipment resulted in a blast that destroyed the reactor's core, igniting a fire that continued to burn for over a week. The explosion was followed by the spew of radioactive gases, and dust into the air. The Chernobyl explosion left its mark on history as one of the worst ever nuclear accidents.

    exclusion, fire, Ukraine, Pripyat
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