20 Years Later, Union Carbide Leak Still Threatens Lives in Bhopal

Once again, greed triumphs over the lives of innocent people.  Union Carbide and your attorneys, you are assholes.


By Patricia Nunan
2 December 2004

Twenty-years ago, in the world’s worst industrial disaster, a Union Carbide chemical plant in the Indian city of Bhopal emitted a toxic cloud that instantly killed thousands of people and injured tens-of-thousands more. Since then, activists charge, no one has cleaned up the poisonous waste that continues to threaten the lives of the city’s residents.

Atal Ayub slum
Atal Ayub slum (VOA photo - P. Nunan)
Tucked between railroad tracks and the abandoned Union Carbide chemical plant, the Atal Ayub slum is home to nearly 3,000 people. Its residents live in the shadow of the plant, where abandoned barrels of toxic waste remain open or dumped in a landfill nearby.

Shortly after midnight on December 3, 1984, a leak in a chemical storage tank at the Union Carbide pesticide factory sparked a reaction that caused a cloud of methyl-isocyanate to descend across much of the city of Bhopal. It killed 2,000 people almost instantly, and an estimated 6,000 more that week. In the years since, 15,000 more are believed to have died as a result of the gas cloud. Tens of thousands of people were sickened or permanently disabled by the gas.

Posted by SPN on 12/03 at 03:38 PM in International

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