On April 26th, 1986, the world's most disastrous nuclear power plant accident took place. The blast killed and permanently disfigured thousands of local people.
Sadly, one of the heroes involved in eliminating the radiation has died. Now, more light has been shone on his cause of death...
General Nikolai T. Antoshkin, commander during the Chernobyl disaster, has died.
People have shared tributes to the hero, thanking him for his service...
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster still shocks the world to this day...
It all happened inside the No.4 nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant wherein an explosion inside the reactor took place in the early hours of the morning during a safety test while the emergency cooling system was turned off.
Combined with operational errors and technical faults, there was a power surge.
The power surge caused a steam explosion, which then resulted in the final nuclear explosion. This reaction shot the reactor's five-hundred-ton roof and almost 9 tons of toxic waste straight up into the air.
The locals didn't immediately know the severity of the situation.
Despite the power plant's explosion, the people in the local town of Pripyat went about their usual business. Even more shockingly, it took officials another thirty-six hours to call for an evacuation.
And the city was completely abandoned.
ShutterstockWithin the first few weeks of the evacuation, many of the local residents died of radiation-related illnesses. Radiation carries with it a number of serious and life-threatening conditions.
The symptoms often start off pretty mild.
via: ShutterstockPeople initially experienced headaches, nausea and fatigue. However, more severe side-effects such as permanent tissue damage, seizures, and third-degree burns later followed. All of these can eventually result in death, which was the unfortunate case for a lot of the residents in the surrounding areas.
But Nikolai Timofeyevich Antoshkin was one of the lucky ones. Born on December nineteenth, 1942, in a village in Bashkortostan...
Major General Nikolai Antoshkin, commander of the helicopter operation to smother Chernobyl's Reactor No.4 from the air, who died today at 78. (Picture: Nikolai Antoshkin) pic.twitter.com/CF1WCh1kWT— Adam Higginbotham (@HigginbothamA) January 18, 2021
He was drafted into the military at nineteen and chosen for flight school.
General Antoshkin was a leader of the liquidators - the military, and civilian workers sent to the Chernobyl disaster site.
While we're all thinking Chernobyl, we should remember Major General Nikolai Tarakanov— miika (@MoonWolf95) June 18, 2019
In reality, he did go to get the readings himself. And he was on the roofs with his troops he was sending out to do the cleanup
Braving enormous risks, they became heroes and are widely praised in Russia for their efforts.
General Antoshkin became the commanding pilot when the disaster was declared.
A courageous man ! Thanks to him #Chernobyl— Jespr.... (@Jer_Home44) January 17, 2021
Though it wasn't clear that pilots would be better off in the air from radiation.
In addition to commanding the operation, General Antoshkin flew sorties and was even exposed to radiation.
all the brave persons that were involved in that horrendous explosion are still heroes. Many died and many continued to suffer for years afterwards.— Cleo & Lady Joy (@CleoLadyJoy1) January 17, 2021
The exposure brought risks that were usually impossible to sense but were lethal nonetheless.
Despite this, he survived a 3-decade career in the Russian Air Force...
Thank you General Nikolai Antoshkin for your heroism. Rest in peace.— StrengthOfCharacterStretch (@OhioBaylorFan) January 17, 2021
Then went on to serve in Parliament, before sadly contracting coronavirus late last year.
He died after a "difficult illness," according to a statement by Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's Parliament.
Sergei Neverov, the head of the party's faction in Parliament, said he had been hospitalized after catching Covid-19.
He succumbed to the virus on Sunday, aged seventy-eight.
Rest in Peace.