By Iurii Shcherbak (auth.)
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This was already nearer evening, there was a glow in the sky, just what we didn't need. There was so much graphite there ... It was no joke. 'In the afternoon the second secrctary of the Kiev Regional The Extraordinary Convay 51 Committee V. Malomuzh called me in and gave me the task of organizing the evacuation of the most seriously ill people to Kiev, to the airport, to send them to Moscow. 'From the headquarters of the national civil defence came Hero of the Soviet Union Major-General Ivanov.
There was an explosion. I was on shift forty metres from the reactor. We knew there were experiments going on. The experiments were according to a previously planned programme and we were following this programme. Our computer registers all deviations and records them on a special tape. We were watching over how the reactor was working. Everything was fine. Then a signal came which meant that the senior reactor engineer had pressed the button to switch the reactor totally off. 'Literally fifteen seconds later there was a sudden shock, and a few seconds later a stronger shock.
Myshko Holovnenko, the driver, set off without a pause, and 1 set out second. There are two engines in our brigade. 1 was in one and he in the other. WeIl, you know, if often happens that when we set out we don't elose the doors, and the doors are glass, and often the wind breaks them. So, nonnally, the one who comes out last must elose them. Pryshchepa and 1 elosed the garage. 1 thought to mys elf: I'll catch up with Myshko, I've got a ZIL-30. So off we went, and 1 chased hirn at around 80 kilometres an hour.