SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vladimir Pravik (1962-1986), Chernobyl firefighter. Lieutenant Pravik was one of the first firefighters at the scene of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. On 26 April 1986, a reactor went out of control at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine, leading to meltdown and an explosion. Previk repeatedly ascended to the roof of the reactor to help extinguish the fire. He died two weeks later, one of several firefighters to be killed from the effects of radiation poisoning. He was posthumously made Hero of the Soviet Union in 1987.
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