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World’s Largest Plane To Bring Chernobyl Victims To U.S.

March 5, 1991

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) _ The world’s largest airplane will bring two children who were victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster to the United States for treatment.

The six-engine Antonov AN-225 Mriya, a Soviet military cargo plane, is scheduled to arrive Thursday, said Valerie Burachinsky, deputy director of the Chernobyl Relief Fund Inc.

It will stay at Bradley International Airport until March 17 or 18 before returning to the Ukraine with 200 tons of medicine and equipment for a hospital established to treat Chernobyl victims. Visitors may tour the plane’s interior while it’s here, she said.

The two sick children, aged 10 and 11, will be treated for illnesses attributed to radiation, Burachinsky said.

A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Kiev exploded April 26, 1986, spewing radiation across the Soviet Union and Europe.

The plane - which dwarfs its U.S. counterpart, the Lockheed C-5A Galaxy - was originally scheduled to land at Bradley in December, but the trip was delayed because of engine problems.

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