Chernobyl writer urges tourists to 'respect' the nuclear site after influencers take selfies in exclusion zone

13 June 2019, 10:45

Chernobyl writer urges tourists to respect the disaster zone
Chernobyl writer urges tourists to respect the disaster zone. Picture: Instagram

Instagram influencers and Chernobyl 'tourists' are being urged to 'respect' the site.

Following HBO's acclaimed Chernobyl series, the nuclear site has attracted influencers and tourists, who have been taking selfies in the exclusion zone.

It has been estimated by tour companies that the number of tourists visiting the area has increased by 40%, after the series first aired in May.

Now, documentary writer Craig Mazin has spoken out on Twitter about the trend, urging Instagrammers to respect the site.

In a tweet, Mazin wrote: "It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion. But yes, I've seen the photos going around.

"If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed."

What happened in the Chernobyl disaster?

Just over 30 years ago, on 26 April, 1986, a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine.

The incident was caused during a safety test, which simulated an electrical power outage. However, workers at the plant violated safety protocols and nuclear power surged within the plant.

Once the nuclear core itself had been exposed, radioactive material was ejected into the atmosphere.

Experts have estimated the area will remain uninhabitable for up to 20,000 years.

How many people were killed during the disaster?

Contemporary Soviet records record the death toll at 31, but the exact number of fatalities remains unknown to this day.

It is estimated the real number of deaths could be in the thousands - if not millions.

Environmental charity and pressure group Greenpeace estimate the death toll is between 93,000 - 200,000.

The reason why there's still debate about the official number, is some died immediately after the explosion, while others died later as a result of exposure to radiation.