The disaster occurred during a late-night safety test in the number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which was designed and operated by the Soviet Union. Due to a combination of design flaws, human error, and technical malfunctions, the reactor overheated and exploded, releasing a massive amount of radioactive material into the atmosphere.
The explosion caused the immediate deaths of two plant workers, while 29 others died within a few months from acute radiation sickness. The accident also caused widespread contamination of the surrounding area, including the town of Pripyat, which was home to thousands of workers and their families.
In the aftermath of the disaster, a large exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl site, and more than 100,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding areas. The long-term effects of the radiation exposure on human health and the environment are still being studied and debated.
Today, the Chernobyl site remains highly contaminated and is closed to the public, although there is a growing interest in the area as a destination for tourists and researchers. The disaster has also had a lasting impact on nuclear safety regulations and the public perception of nuclear power around the world.