Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ukrainian rescuers fail to put out fire in Chernobyl exclusion zone

Rescuers have been unable to extinguish fire in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear plant for the third day in a row, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said on Tuesday.

"The effort continues to extinguish wildfire between the abandoned villages of Buda Varovichi and Kovshilovka on the area of around 60 hectares. As of 7.00 a.m. local time on August 11, the situation is under control," the service said in a statement.

A total of 99 people and 27 units of equipment, including three firefighting aircraft and a helicopter, are currently involved in the effort.

A major fire broke out in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl on June 29 when dry grass caught fire. The fire spread to the area of some 130 hectares.

On July 1, Ukraine’s nuclear inspectors measured a significant increase in radiation in certain areas hit by fire near the Chernobyl NPP. The firefighters later managed to extinguish the fire, but the peat bog continued smoldering for two more weeks.

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