Tag Archives: methyl isocynate gas

The 1984 Bhopal Disaster also known as Bhopal Gas Tragedy

In a file picture taken on December 4, 1984 soldiers guard the entrance of Union Carbide factory in Bhopal after a deadly poison gas leak.

The Bhopal disaster was one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes. It occurred on the night of December 2–3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. A leak of methyl isocynate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people.

The Victims

Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.  Others estimate 3,000-8000 {Greenpeace} died within weeks and another 8,000-20,000 {Greenpeace}have since died from gas-related diseases. According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, 25,000 people have died from exposure since the initial explosion. But this is not some quarter-century-old tragedy to shake one’s head over and move on. It’s estimated that 10 to 30 people continue to die from exposure every month. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. Continue reading

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