Film offers haunting look at Chernobyl


“Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl” offers a haunting look at a city abandoned due to radiation. Photo from Danny Cooke

In what's been widely considered the worst nuclear disaster of all time, an explosion in Reactor 4 in Ukraine's Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 caused a mass evacuation of all residents in a 19-mile zone.

Nearly three decades later, what stands in the wake of the accident are the skeletal remains of a once vibrant city, left vacant after nuclear dust clouds and deadly radiation spread over the landscape, making it unlivable.


Letters never sent, toys left behind, and crumbling buildings are the remnants of the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Photo from Danny Cooke

While it's still too dangerous for residents to return to Pripyat, a city originally built to house plant workers and nuclear experts, lower radiation levels make it safe for short visits. Filmmaker Danny Cooke returned to film a segment for CBS News’ 60 Minutes that aired last month, and pieced together this chilling look at what remains in the short film "Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl."

Today, Pripyat is a haunting wasteland frozen in time: a Ferris wheel that will never run again, a bumper car park being reclaimed by nature, a mailroom strewn with letters that will never be sent. Watch now to see a rare glimpse at the disaster site:

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