Children from Chernobyl have joined Shropshire firefighters as part of an annual respite visit.

A dozen youngsters, aged between 10 and 12, squirted water in the parade ground at Shrewsbury fire HQ and shared a meal with firefighters.

Chernobyl children visit Shropshire fire HQ Credit: Shrewsbury Fire & Rescue Service

Although the children were not born when the nuclear reactor exploded 30 years ago on April 26, 1986, they are suffering the effects with surrounding land still heavily contaminated.

It was all part of a visit to Shropshire organised by the county branch of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCL), which county firefighters support.

Blue Watch Shrewsbury, Paul Gray said:

Because of Chernobyl’s radioactive fallout, the children had a short life expectancy but a visit to the UK for just two weeks a year can have a positive effect on their health and considerably extend their life expectancy.

Blue Watch Shrewsbury, Paul Gray
Chernobyl children visit Shropshire fire HQ Credit: Shrewsbury Fire & Rescue Service

Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCL), Jane Elliott said:

They are so overwhelmed when they come. They cannot believe how green and hilly the area is whereas the area they come from is very flat.

Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, Jane Elliott
Chernobyl children visit Shropshire fire HQ Credit: Shrewsbury Fire & Rescue