“Residents were given two hours to gather their belongings. The evacuation of Pripyat’s 43,000 residents took 3.5 hours, using 1,200 buses from Kiev. Residents remember that everyone was in a hurry, but nobody was panicking. The residents of Pripyat were asked to carry with them only what was required for two or three days, some food, a change of underwear, and their identity papers. Dosimeters are confiscated.
“Queues of jammed buses left the city. One after the other, like giant beetles, kilometre after kilometre. The traffic was insane. Only a Second World War survivor can imagine a similar scene.” – Resident of Pripyat
Of those who tried to return later, having realised that Pripyat was lost forever, to fetch belongings of affection, some succeeded but many more encountered alarm wired buildings and armed military.”
-An excerpt from The Chernobyl Gallery‘s event timeline
And so, even a generation later and having been picked over by many foolhardy scavengers and explorers alike, Pripyat still feels suspended in time. This quality is most felt walking through the interiors of the various schools, offices and apartment blocks throughout the city.
From the hospital
And various schools