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Nuke workers are on 'suicide mission'

Brave technicians fighting to avoid a nuclear catastrophe in Japan have sent heart-breaking messages to their families while admitting they know they are on a " suicide mission."

world Updated: Mar 19, 2011 00:10 IST

Brave technicians fighting to avoid a nuclear catastrophe in Japan have sent heart-breaking messages to their families while admitting they know they are on a "suicide mission."

The messages from the 'Fukushima Fifty', named because they work in shifts of 50 people, were made public on Thursday after a national, channel interviewed their families. One message from a worker said that they (workers) had stoically accepted their fate 'like a death sentence'.

Another worker, who has been exposed to a near-lethal dose of radiation, wrote a message to his wife saying, "Please continue to live well, I cannot be home for a while."

The group of approximately 200 workers remained behind after 700 of their colleagues fled when radiation levels became too dangerous at a level, which will either kill the workers soon or cause them serious illnesses in the coming years.

During an interview, one relative said: "My father is still working at the plant. He says he's accepted his fate..." Another relative said she was sad, as her 59-year-old father had volunteered to stay on at the plant, even though he was due to retire in six months.

Of those who stayed behind, five are known to have died already and two are missing. At least 21 others have been injured.