Bridge of Death in Chernobyl zone is one of the most legendary places there. It is said that soon after the explosion people from Pripyat came to the bridge to watch the fire. Radioactive particles were blown by the wind and affected people severely. People who walked on Bridge of Death that night thought to be dead short after that. However, the myths around this bridge went far beyond the true story.
Bridge of Death and Radiation
Right after the accident the level of radiation on the bridge went up to 5,000,000 μSv/hour or 5 Sv/hour. Normal atmospheric level goes up to 0.3 μSv/hour. Lethal amount of radiation can be absorbed with the level of 6-7 Sv/hour. As long as the wind continued to blow off the particles, the level of radiation continued to climb. Even after cleaning up process (which was made regularly there) the bridge remained contaminated.
How Far is the Bridge from Chernobyl?
The road over the railway leads from Kopachi village to the city of Pripyat. Chernobyl town is approximately 10 km away from the bridge. The nearest settlement is Prypiat. Basically, it is the entrance to the city. The distance between the bridge and the power plant is a couple of kilometers. Chernobyl Bridge of Death attracted victims: the proximity to the city and the power plant and the fact that the exploded unit is the closest to the bridge are the main arguments to prove that curious people definitely came there.
Chernobyl Bridge of Death and the Reality
The accident took place at 1.23 a.m. when the city was sleeping peacefully. There were no destroyed buildings and broken windows caused by the explosion. Basically, only the power plant personnel, firefighters and their families knew that something happened. The rest of the population was unaware till the morning. Nobody came to the bridge at night neither during the day. So, there is no answer to the question how many people died on the Bridge of Death.
Measuring levels of radiation in the city started in the early morning. It was known that the bridge is highly radioactive, so there were two police patrols on the both sides on the bridge. Only the vehicles were allowed to drive there, but nobody could walk.
The only fact that allows us to call the bridge like this is the evacuation of population from Pripyat. More than 1,000 buses carried evacuees from the city and all of them crossed the bridge. However, crossing Chernobyl Bridge of Death takes less than a minute which is not enough to affect people lethally.