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Grave of Another Chernobyl Victim Found

August 7, 1986

MITINO, U.S.S.R. (AP) _ Another person has been buried in the part of a village cemetery reserved for victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, apparently indicating the death toll has risen to 31.

A white card on the new grave of K.I. Luzganova said she died Monday.

Last Saturday Western reporters visited the cemetery and found two other new graves, those of A.V. Novik, who died July 29, and Y.A. Vershinin, who died July 23.

The cards at the grave sites do not mention Chernobyl, but the graves are in a part of the cemetery that an official has said is reserved for victims of the Chernobyl accident.

There has been no official announcement of the deaths, and no indication from the Soviet Union that the death toll has risen above 28, the last officially announced figure.

One of four reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant 80 miles north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev was destroyed by a chemical explosion and fire April 26 that spewed radioactivity over much of the world.

Dr. Robert Gale, an American bone marrow specialist who helped treat victims of the accident, said last week that only 30 of the 500 initial victims remained hospitalized, and that nearly all were expected to survive.

There are now 26 Chernobyl victims buried in the cemetery outside Mitino, a 30-minute drive from the center of Moscow.

One of the Chernobyl victims died inside the ruined reactor building and his body was not recovered. At least one of the other victims was buried in a cemetery near his home, but it is not known where the others are buried.

The graves of Chernobyl victims at Mitinskoye Cemetery are in two rows, with 15 in the back and 11 in front.

Except for the three new graves, the burial plots are marked by identical white marble headstones with the names, birthdays and dates of death etched in gold letters.

The graves of six firemen who died fighting the flames at Chernobyl are marked with a single star.

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