Harrowing Drone Footage Shows Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

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Justine Alford

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159 Harrowing Drone Footage Shows Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Danny Cooke

Back in 1986, a flawed reactor design married with serious mistakes made by plant workers led to one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents: the Chernobyl disaster. The explosion and fires caused some 5% of the radioactive reactor core to seep into the environment and downwind, leading to a 30 kilometer (18.5 mile) exclusion zone around the plant that is still in effect today.

49,360 people residing in the nearby city of Pripyat had to be evacuated within 36 hours of the accident, followed by an additional 70,000 people from surrounding areas over the next few weeks. It’s safe to say that the area is a ghost town, barely touched by humans for the past 30 years.


Now, British filmmaker Danny Cooke is allowing us to peer into this eerie and haunting place with his new short film, which includes footage captured by a drone that was flown into the area. And it’s pretty harrowing. Check it out here:



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  • drone,

  • film,

  • Chernobyl disaster,

  • Danny Cooke