Alarm Over Chernobyl Nuclear Plant As Fire Reaches Exclusion Zone
A wild forest fire has reached the exclusion zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine. Officials said the fire is the largest of its kind to hit Ukraine in 20 years.
Fire engulfs 400 hectares of forest near Chernobyl nuclear plant
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the fire burnt approximately 400 hectares of forest in the exclusion zone surrounding the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster that happened in 1986. He said 200 firefighters, scores of trucks and aircraft were already deployed at the area to minimize the fire.
Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatesenyuk has already flown in the area, Euronews reported.
“Our state emergency services are actively trying to localise the fires. Three planes, one helicopter and several vehicles have been deployed. A lot of resources are being used to prevent the fires from spreading,” Yatesenyuk said.
While the fire was described as the largest to hit Ukraine in more than two decades, Chernobyl spokeswoman Maya Rudenko said the fire posed no risk. Zoryan Shkiryak, head of Ukraine’s emergency services, said the fire had already been brought under full control.
Fire at Chernobyl nuclear disaster might be deliberate
Ukrainian officials are looking at arson as the most probable cause of the fire, BBC reported. Authorities have since tightened the security around the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
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