The melancholy of abandoned places is heightened in Chernobyl, by the physical and emotional contamination caused by one of our great environmental tragedies.
On 26 April 1986 01:23:45 a.m. reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant, near Pripyat in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, exploded. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. Four hundred times more fallout was released than had been by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Here is a huge collection of haunting photos taken by Dimitry Kuznetsov in Pripyat, Ukraine, the town of 50,000 people who worked at the plant. They were a small part of the 336,000 who were evacuated from the area. The evacuees were told that they would return to Pripyat in three days, explaining why clothing and furnishings remain.