Hospital No. 126 was the general infirmary for Pripyat. The first firemen to respond to the Chernobyl Disaster were taken here and their clothing remains radioactive.
This report is part of a series from the ghost town of Pripyat and Chernobyl exclusion zone. Check out the Chernobyl and Pripyat main page for more reports.
Hospital MsCh-126 Medico-Sanitary unit was the general infirmary in Pripyat, serving the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and their families. The hospital has been abandoned since the evacuation of Pripyat following the Chernobyl disaster.
The hospital could accommodate up to 410 patients and had a further three clinics. The hospital is a large complex of buildings of five interconnected buildings of 6 stories each. The building sits on Druzhby Narodov street (Friendship of the People street) and occupies most of Microdistrict 1. The large letters on the roof read “Здоров’я народу – багатство країни” or “health of the people – riches of the country”.
The basement of the hospital contains the suits worn by the firemen who attended the scene at Chernobyl after the explosion. The firemen weretaken to the hospital by albulance after being exposed to such high levels of radiation that even after 28 years their suits still emit a lethal dose of radiation. Needless to say we avoided the basement where the suits were left, however part of a fireman’s hat has been moved into the reception area. Our dosimeters were capable of reading up to a maximum 999 microsievert per hour. When placed near the hat, the reading was 999, we do not know how much higher than that the radiation actually was. Average background radiation is around 0.02 microsievert per hour!
The hospital was one of my favourite buildings to visit in Pripyat. There were plenty of things to photograph – something different and intriguing in almost every room. When exploring abandoned hospitals it’s common to find repetitive layouts, each floor built to the same design for example, but Pripyat Hospital has a different feel to each area, something different to offer every each corner.