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Abandoned Chemical Plant (Former Soviet Union)

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Published on Nov 4, 2013

In the former Soviet Union, a secret Soviet chemical factory has sat abandoned for more than a decade with hundreds of drums of leaking toxic chemicals near tons of explosives. The chemical plant was a toxic dump on top of a forgotten bomb in the center of a city of 290,000 people. It had all the components and potential for a historic and horrifying industrial accident. After years of neglect and decay, the plant looked like the backdrop to a post-apocalyptic zombie film. In 1989, chemicals leaking from the site killed three people. In 2011, the government requested international assistance to clean up the explosives at the plant. A unique and diverse group of stakeholders led by the international non-profit Blacksmith Institute and the U.N. Industrial Development Organization took on the challenge, and today the risks posed by the site have been largely eliminated.

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