December 14 – Day of honoring the participants in the liquidation of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Now about 3000 liquidators live in Zaporozhye. And some of them, in addition to the honorable title of accident liquidators, also bear the title of Zaporizhstal workers.
Anatoly Karpachev was 25 years old when, while working at the Zaporizhstal plant, he was called up by the Ordzhonikidze district military enlistment office to eliminate the consequences at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as a military builder.
– I worked at the Zaporizhstal plant in the train preparation shop as a shift foreman for 23 years, and retired in 2008, – Anatoly Alexandrovich said. – I arrived on September 1, 1986 to eliminate the consequences of the explosion and stayed there until December 24. I was a member of the military construction detachment of the Odessa Military District.
We spaded pits for pumping out groundwater so that it would get into the Pripyat River with radiation. The work was carried out practically on the territory of the station. They worked on a rotational basis – 15 days and 12 hours a day. Leaving the zone, we were in the open air for a certain amount of time, and then we left. Changed to be in the bunker most of the time. When the 15 days of the shift passed, they built permanent housing at their base, because it went into winter, and we initially arrived in the tent city.
The chairman of the city public organization “Chernobyls of Zaporizhzhia” Pavel Bilan, who in June 1986 also took part in the liquidation of the consequences of the accident, said that this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, no mass events are planned on the Day of honouring the participants in the liquidation of the accident.
– But we will meet with our guys and honour the memory of the victims, – Pavel Bilan noted. – I am glad to note that even now, in this difficult time, the Zaporizhstal Works is our good old friend – continues to financially support our organization. Moreover, this year was no exception. With this help, we will congratulate our liquidators. This is very valuable on days like this.
I wish all liquidators good health, and all residents – to remember that catastrophe and prevent its recurrence. Be healthy!