One of the most heavily contaminated areas in the exclusion zone is the Pripyat amusement park. In 1986, the helicopters flying missions over the stricken nuclear power plant landed in the wide-open space in front of the Ferris wheel. They came to load bags of sand, lead and boron to be dumped over the smouldering reactor core.
Although many of the fairground attractions were operational, before the accident, the Ferris wheel was awaiting a grand opening ceremony planned for 1st May 1986. The accident happened 5 days before the May Day celebrations and the Ferris wheel never turned.
Until in 2017, a rather enterprising group of Polish tourists took it upon themselves to get the Ferris wheel working and shot a video to prove it.
Fiona Erskine’s debut thriller “The Chemical Detective” will be published by the Oneworld imprint, Point Blank Books in April 2019.