Perhaps it’s not the most dangerous place on the planet anymore — sadly, there’s Fukushima Japan, the site of the 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown, as well as numerous political hotspots all over the globe where grave harm can come to anyone in the vicinity.
But the disaster at Chernobyl maintains a unique capacity to haunt, as survivors of 26 (the local reference to the nuclear meltdown that took place on April 26, 1986 — something like the universal reference to 911) remember how their lives changed instantly and forever.
It happened nearly 30 years ago, but once again, photographers have revisited the Ukraine site and its nearby town Pripyat to document its current state of decay.
With all of its structures left intact, including the ferris wheel at a newly constructed amusement park that never once saw a child’s visit, to the state of the art (circa the 1980s) nine-story buildings erected for the plant workers, all was abandoned to the elements and remains virtually empty with the exception of a handful of valiant souls who continue to call this place home.
Videographer Danny Cooke, using drone technology, captures a view of this well-documented disaster from a fresh angle with his DJI Phantom 2 (GoPro3+) and Canon 7D. Shot in June as part of an assignment for the CBS News 60 Minutes program, this three-minute video contains footage of abandoned buildings and parks as well as on-the-ground shots of schools and homes.
A massive construction project of a 32,000-ton arch is now underway in a final attempt to seal off the dead and still dangerous reactor from further contact with humans once and for all.
➤ Postcards from Chernobyl [Vimeo]