Ukraine remembers Chernobyl victims in new city
Dozens lit candles and grieved over pictures of the dead Tuesday at a memorial to the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the city built to house its workers after the catastrophe.
Mourners in Slavutych knelt in front of the memorial to the men and women killed by the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant 25 years ago or who died through exposure to radiation in the subsequent months.
One boy pointed to a picture of his grandmother as he lit a candle to remember those who lost their lives as a result of the explosion at 1:23 am Kiev time on April 26, 1986, an AFP photographer reported.
Locals placed candles beneath the memorial board, illuminating in the darkness the pictures and names on the memorial to the rescue workers and staff who lost their lives, as an Orthodox choir sang the liturgy.
Slavutych, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside the power plant, was built after the disaster to house workers from the Chernobyl nuclear power station as the town of Pripyat where they lived was too close and had to be completely evacuated.
It has since grown to a city of 25,000 people and still houses the thousands of workers who travel to the now disused power station every day to ensure it poses no further threat to public health.
Two plant staff were killed in the explosion at Chernobyl while another 22 workers and six rescuers died of their exposure to radiation in subsequent months.
The extent of the long-term toll on the health of those who were involved in the rescue effort remains hugely controversial.
© 2011 AFP