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AP Gallery: Chernobyl town Pripyat celebrates 50th anniversary

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A former resident of Pripyat hangs a photo of the city

A former resident of Pripyat hangs a photo of the city before the explosion by the sign "Happy Birthday" as people celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city in Pripyat, not far from the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine, on Tuesday. It was the first time some former residents had returned to the city since their evacuation after the world's worst nuclear accident. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a plant reactor exploded April 26, 1986.

Former resident of Pripyat, Olexander Zabelchenko holds flowers

Former resident of Pripyat, Olexander Zabelchenko, holds flowers as he celebrates the 50th anniversary of the city in a central square of the abandoned city of Pripyat, not far from the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine, on Tuesday. It was the first time some former residents had returned to the city since their evacuation after the world's worst nuclear accident. 

A tourist takes a photo of a radiation sign at the deserted town of Pripyat

A tourist takes a photo of a radiation sign at the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine on Tuesday. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a plant reactor exploded April 26, 1986. Pripyat celebrate 50th anniversary of the city. 

People visit an abandoned amusement park

People visit an abandoned amusement park in the abandoned city of Pripyat, not far of the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine, on Tuesday. Visitors celebrated the 50th anniversary of the city. It was the first time some former residents had returned to the city since their evacuation after the world's worst nuclear accident.

Tourists look at the Chernobyl zone map

Tourists look at the Chernobyl zone map in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, on Tuesday. Pripyat was once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. 

Portraits of Soviet leaders are covered by radioactive dust

Portraits of Soviet leaders are covered by radioactive dust in a club in the dead town of Pripyat, near Chernobyl in Ukraine on Tuesday. The portraits were prepared for a May Day rally in Pripyat — the town that housed the Chernobyl nuclear power plant workers — but the residents were evacuated within hours after the radioactive explosion in the fourth reactor April 26, 1986. Pripyat celebrated the 50th anniversary of the city.

Former residents of Pripyat hold a 'Happy Birthday' sign as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city

Former residents of Pripyat hold the sign "Happy Birthday" as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city in a Pripyat city park, not far from the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine, on Tuesday. It was the first time some former residents had returned to the city since their evacuation after the world's worst nuclear accident

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