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Video: 'Chernobyl Disaster City' captured in eerie but incredible drone footage

The footage was captured by Devon-based cameraman Danny Cooke

Jack Simpson
Friday 28 November 2014 16:11
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Pripyat was completely evacuated within days of the Chernobyl Disaster
Pripyat was completely evacuated within days of the Chernobyl Disaster

Incredible drone footage has been released that shows the abandoned remains of Pripyat, a Ukrainian city that was completely evacuated in the aftermath of the Chernobyl Disaster.

Pripyat once boasted 49,000 residents, 25 shops and 10 gymnasiums. However, it was completely abandoned after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered an explosion in 1986.

Drone footage captured by British photographer Danny Cooke provides a harrowing insight into how Pripyat looks nearly thirty years later.

The footage shows a ghost city that has been frozen in time, still displaying much of the Soviet iconography that embodied the USSR during the Cold War period.

It also shows how the city has become a place of neglect with many of the streets and buildings overrun by trees.

The eerie images show a fairground littered with rusty dodg'ems, a disused ferris wheel, a room filled with gas masks and rows upon rows of abandoned blocks of flats.

Devon-based documentary maker Cooke was able to film the footage, titled Postcards from Pripyat, while filming a 60 Minutes segment for the American news network CBS.

Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

Cooke used his spare time to go out and fly his DJI Phantom 2 drone and camera to capture aerial shots of the empty city.

Commenting on the footage, Cooke wrote on Vimeo: "Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I've been.

"There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place," he added. "Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.

"The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had and effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy. I can't imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of locals who evacuated."

The Chernobyl disaster in April 1986 was one of the world's worst nuclear accidents. The explosion and subsequent fire led to a number of harmful radioactive particles being released into the air and contaminating much of the surrounding areas with lethal levels of radiation, leading to acute radiation syndrome and long-term illnesses such as thyroid cancer.

Pripyat, which is situated just nine miles away from the Chernobyl Power Plant, was completely evacuated within days of the disaster, with the majority of the city's residents being re-housed in the city of Slavutich.

The town has been largely empty since 1986 due to fears of lingering radiation. Recently however, it has been deemed safe for those that are visiting for short periods of time.

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