22:42 28.04.2015

Avakov: arson attack could be behind massive wildfire around Chornobyl nuclear power plant on Tuesday

Internal troops and the National Guard of Ukraine are patrolling Chornobyl forests due to a reasonable suspicion of an arson attack, which has caused massive wildfire in the Chornobyl exclusion zone on Tuesday, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook.

"A repeat upper flame had been put out by night. This is very good: the wind has stopped blowing by the evening, and we'll quickly localize the situation around major points of the outbreak of the fire. 2. There is a reasonable suspicion of an arson attack, as there were outbreaks of the fire in several places on both sides of the river. 3. The patrols have been enhanced: the National Guard and the Interior Ministry's troops have been put on alert," he wrote.

According to him, the wildfire that broke out on Tuesday in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) in Kyiv region is the biggest since 1992: It's about 20 km from the NPP facility, though the spent fuel repository is located at a distance of a mere about 5 km.

When commenting the situation, he said that the forecast was positive.

"But! It's too important and risks are high… Therefore – maximum attention. I'll let you know if there is more news. There shouldn't be any ground for fear and panic at the moment. Everything is under control," he added.

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