In April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, near the border with Belarus, had a major accident that released radiation into the atmosphere. The protective covering of the nuclear reactor exploded and deadly radiation escaped, immediately killing at least 28 people and giving 240 others radiation sickness, 19 of whom later died as a result. The radiation exposure that initially occurred is still killing people through related diseases, especially thyroid cancer, and this will continue for many years. More than 100,000 people were evacuated from the region, and deaths due to radiation poisoning continue as radioactive isotopes spread across Europe. The radiation cloud that resulted from the disaster traveled more than 1,300 miles (2,000 kilometers), infecting crops and livestock that then became unsafe to eat.