Chernobyl disaster: The nuclear ghost town 31 years later

Rusting away

A children’s seesaw stands among former apartment buildings on (Getty Images)

Road to nowhere

A metal landing leads out to what was once a port for boats on the Pripyat River (Getty Images)

Forgotten memorial

A statue of a Soviet Red Army soldier stands at a memorial (Getty Images)

Tourist trap

Tourists on a guided tour snap photos of one another outside an abandoned shop and apartment building (Getty Images)

Sitting empty

Former apartment buildings stand abandoned in Pripyat, Ukraine (Getty Images)

Left empty

A stairwell stands in abandoned elementary school (Getty Images)

Radiation measure

Small dosimeters that measure radiation dosage and used by emergency workers following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster lie scattered on the ground (Getty Images)

Saving the date

A calendar from the fateful year 1986 lies on the floor of a former hospital (Getty Images)

Warning sign

A sign warns of radiation contamination near former apartment buildings (Getty Images)

Nuclear zone

People take pictures in the town of Pripyat (Getty Images)


Graffiti daubs a building on the main square in the town of Pripyat (Getty Images)


A former hotel begins to crumble (Getty Images)

The town of Pripyat was once the perfect model of Soviet living. Built in the 1970s, it housed the families of the workers at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Today it is abandoned crumbling within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

31 years ago on 26 April 1986, the meltdown of Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant led to the worst civilian nuclear accident in history.

Poisonous radiation spewed from the plant into the surrounding landscape, contaminating the area and destroying the lives of the citizens.

Authorities evacuated approximately 43,000 people from Pripyat in the days following the disaster, and the city, with its high-rise apartment buildings, hospital, shops, schools, restaurants, cultural center and sports facilities, has remained a ghost town ever since.

This is what the town looks like today.