These brave heroes literally crawled into glowing, radioactive wreckage to prevent the fire from spreading, knowing it would likely prove to be a death sentence.

Select 100 images or less to download. Chernobyl Disaster in rare pictures, 1986 Liquidators clean the roof of the No. With little protection from radiation other than makeshift lead suits, 28 firemen and employees died in the weeks following the event. Radiation was so strong that skin melted off of their bodies, and the Chernobyl firefighters' eyes turned from brown to blue. General Tarakanov ordered them to remove the lead sheets covering the walls of the government subcommittee bureaus in order to make them rudimentary protective clothing. While some first responders managed to create makeshift steel protection, the very first firefighters who rushed to the scene were completely unprotected. First pictures. Kostin remembered: Everyone is instructed to throw a shovelful of radioactive dust and then run. Liquidators came in three phases. Too many images selected. The catastrophic nuclear accident occurred when Chernobyl's nuclear reactor exploded after an open-air graphite fire.

Thirty-three years ago, a series of explosions destroyed Chernobyl's reactor No. It's estimated that up to 800,000 people helped clean up the mess surrounding Chernobyl in the years following the plant's meltdown. Many others, who survived acute radiation poisoning (along with some of the. “Thoughts of my family would flash through my mind and be gone,” he told, It was clear that the Soviet government was not equipped to handle such a catastrophe, and they lacked the necessary equipment to protect first responders, who largely consisted of 30- to 40-year-old men from the military's reserves.

Almost all the liquidators who worked on the roof of the third block were thirty-five to forty year old reservists recalled to serve in the armed forces for 'maneuvers.' According to fire fighter and first-responder Lieut. According to, now-radioactive animals that survived Chernobyl. © 2020 Getty Images. Click here to request Getty Images Premium Access through IBM Creative Design Services.

No one spoke about the radiation risk – or their terrifying, looming fate – and many contracted radiation poisoning as they worked, but still didn't stop.

See the intimate documentation above.

There were also research scientists, medical teams and rotating crews to help with decontamination of the responders’ clothes and equipment, though it’s questionable just how effective this was, considering that area is still quarantined today and the unfortunate people employed there are only allowed 15 minute shifts due to continuing radiation exposure. Though the idea of radiation poisoning crossed through their minds (it was inevitable should they choose to do their jobs), they were determined to contain the fire. For this reason, radio-controlled vehicles were initially used to clear the most hazardous debris: highly radioactive fuel from the reactor's core that was thrown onto the roof of reactor three. They never got better. While many of the responders who arrived during the actual meltdown died, the Chernobyl Union estimates that between 90,000 and 200,000 of the disaster liquidators that survived have major long-term health problems. He was part of one of the first major clean up/reconstruction crews, but not one of the “heroes” who “by bravery or ignorance” were working directly at the site of the reactor, building a barrier (“a sarcophagus”) to prevent further explosions from releasing more radioactive particles into the atmosphere. There was the "initial phase," which included firefighters who showed up as early as 24 hours before the evacuation of Pripyat, the nuclear city in which Chernobyl was located.

Radiation from the Chernobyl disaster was, without a doubt, wildly harmful to humans. These old photos posted by Alexander Strannik on his LiveJournal were taken in 1986 in Chernobyl, a few months after the infamous catastrophic nuclear incident. The smart ones made themselves a lead “fig leaf” that they inserted between two layers of underwear. Photos Of Chernobyl First Responders By Marina Galperina | April 30, 2014 - 05:36PM. With little protection from radiation other than makeshift lead suits, 28 firemen and employees died in the weeks following the event. On April 26, 1986, the Ukraine suffered a tragedy of such a large scale that it would never be the same. Those in the late phase were the least likely to have problems, as they entered the workforce during the end of the sarcophagus construction and the dissolution of the USSR.

Where technology failed, humans stepped in, but it wasn't without consequence. Boards are the best place to save images and video clips. When they arrived at the plant, the radiation meters had frozen on the highest level – but they charged through anyway, trying to fight the blaze before it spread to the surrounding area. Here are two brave photographers who took the first pictures of the Chernobyl disaster from a helicopter in April 1986. Credit: SHONE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images. According to Igor Kostin, a reporter on the scene who wrote the book Chernobyl: Confessions of a Reporter, first responders were instructed to create makeshift radiation armor from lead sheets that covered the walls of various government buildings. The largest amount of these liquidators – nearly 200,000 – were first responders in 1986. Someone had to clean up the radioactive mess, and the disaster liquidators stepped up to the plate. For this reason. Find the perfect Chernobyl stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. {{collectionsDisplayName(searchView.appliedFilters)}}, {{searchText.groupByEventToggleImages()}}, {{searchText.groupByEventToggleEvents()}}. Many others, who survived acute radiation poisoning (along with some of the now-radioactive animals that survived Chernobyl), returned from the cleanup site with a wealth of on-going health problems.

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