On April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant, some 100 kilometers north of the capital Kiev, exploded during a botched safety test.
The reactor burned for 10 days, sending radioactive elements into the atmosphere that contaminated three-quarters of Europe, according to some estimates.
Soviet authorities tried to cover up the accident. Sweden was the first to raise the alarm after scientists detected a spike in radiation levels on April 28. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev did not make a public statement until May 14.
The number of deaths directly due to the accident is still a matter of debate, with estimates varying from around 30 to one hundred thousand.
In November 2016, a massive metal dome was erected over the remains of the reactor paid for with 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in international funding to stop future leaks and ensure the safety of Europeans for generations. (AFP)
Here’s a look at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant 32 years later.