Eight-year-old Vika Chervinska, a Ukrainian girl diagnosed with cancer, holds an earlier picture of her and her sister (right). Chervinskas mother blames her daughters illness on radioactive contamination from the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. Their hometown of Kiev is just 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the Chernobyl complex.
Thirty-one workers at the Chernobyl plant died in the explosion and subsequent fire. But the most notable human-health consequence has been the increased rates of thyroid cancer in area residents, particularly among children.