35 Years After Chernobyl – What the City of Pripyat Looks Like Today

A Dying City

The mood of the town changed considerably overnight.

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Many people watched the fire burn from the city’s bridge and rooftops as the sun set that evening. The bridge offered clear sightlines to reactor number four at a distance of about two kilometers. Now known as “The Bridge of Death,” it’s often said that no one survived that close viewing. However, exactly how many lives it claimed is widely disputed.

Vitaly Petrenko was sixteen and a student at the Vocational Technical School in Pripyat. He writes about the strange scene he witnessed on his way to school that day: foam covering roads and sidewalks, police officers in gas masks, vehicles with “contaminated” written across them, and “fire engines endlessly watering the streets.”