Disasters & Accidents

Ukraine honors heroic liquidators 34 years after nuclear tragedy

Moscow, Apr 26 (efe-epa).- Ukraine honored the Chernobyl liquidators on Sunday, 34 years after the worst nuclear tragedy in history.

Ukrainian Emergency Services Chief, Mykola Chechotkin, remembered the 530,000 liquidators of Chernobyl, recovery operation workers who worked tirelessly after the accident to put out the fires and clean up the toxic debris.

“It is our sacred duty to remember all the liquidators of the Chernobyl accident. We remember everyone by name, both those who left for eternity, and those with whom we have the honor to live and work together,” he said in a statement.

Chechotkin said “the Chernobyl accident radically changed the course of human life in minutes, set the destiny of millions of Ukrainians on fire and placed a heavy burden on the shoulders of our people.”

April 26 is “a day to remember the greatest human-made disaster and honor everyone involved in alleviating the consequences of the Chernobyl accident.”

The Emergencies head said the catastrophic event was “a symbol of the boundless courage of many thousands” of Ukrainians.

“The pain of Chernobyl echoed in the hearts of all Ukrainians, leaving forever the feat of the liquidators etched in our memories,” Chechotkin added.

The anniversary comes as emergency services have been grappling with fires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, coming dangerously close to the nuclear power plant, for three weeks.

Even though the main blaze has been extinguished, firefighters continue to fight smaller fires still burning in the exclusion zone in the Lubianski, Parishivski, Detektivski and Denisovsky forest parks.

The blaze at one point reached the abandoned city of Pripyat, where the families of the plant operators lived when the fourth reactor broke down on 26 April 1986.

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