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Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Chernobyl images spark outcry as trips to site of nuclear disaster increase

The creator of the hit TV series Chernobyl has urged tourists visiting the site of the nuclear disaster to show some respect after social media influencers posted insensitive images online.

One posed in her underwear, others posted images of themselves sitting on abandoned chairs at the power plant or faking shocked expressions in front of warning signs.

The nuclear power plant and the nearby city of Pripyat in Ukraine, which was evacuated after the explosion in 1986, have seen a huge influx of tourists since the success of the HBO series Chernobyl starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson.

Series creator Craig Mazin tweeted that while the wave of tourism sparked by his programme was 'wonderful', visitors should remember the tragedy that occurred.

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

Official records state that 31 people died in what was the world's worst nuclear disaster, but estimates of actual fatalities range from 4,000 to 93,000.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said that radioactive isotopes at the site 'still linger [but] are at tolerable exposure levels for limited periods of time'.

Visits to the disused power plant and ghost town of Priyat are only possible as part of organised tours. Adventure tour operator Explore last week announced a four-fold increase in demand for its five-day trips to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

However, some Instagram users have blasted some of the images posted on the photo-sharing site by influencers who have visited the Exclusion Zone, such as the one above, as 'insensitve' and 'disrespectful'.

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