With little protection against the radioactive mess the explosion had created, radiation around the plant was so strong that skin melted off the bodies of the firefighters.
The real story behind HBO’s Chernobyl. Post continues after podcast.
While the firefighters bravely fought the blaze, a group of Pripyat locals gathered on a railway bridge to get a better view of the colourful flames and the column of light shooting upwards from the site of the explosion.
It was a scene that became one of the most eerie moments in new HBO miniseries Chernobyl.
In the scene, a large group of men, women and young children are seen chatting and laughing on the bridge as the faint sounds of sirens carry on in the background.
As the children play under the bridge, flakes of radioactive debris and dust blows through the air like snow.
It’s a haunting scene – but what happened to the people on the bridge, according to Chernobyl, is even more harrowing.
In the final episode of the series, it was reported that no one who watched the fire from the Chernobyl bridge that night survived.
Watch the official trailer for HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl below. Post continues after video.