pesticide plant in a densely populated region of Bhopal in central India, leaks
a highly toxic cloud of methyl isocyanate. 2000 died instantly, 6000 have died
afterwards. 600,000 were injured. Symptoms included swollen eyes, frothing at
the mouth and breathing difficulties. Dead cats, dogs and birds littered the streets.
reported that for a full hour, numerous errors prevented staff inside the plant
from noticing the massive leak. By the time that the alarm was raised, the harm
had been done.
authorities had not been trained in procedures for handling such an accident.
As it happened, most could have been saved had they placed a damp towel over their
mouth and nose.
US owned company, Union Carbide, was sued by the Indian government for $470 million.
It is reported that most of the victims got just $550 (which didn't cover the
treatment they needed). Those who died got $1300.
is said that Union Carbide closed the plant down after the disaster, but that
they failed to clean up the site thoroughly and that poisonous leaks still occur
from the plant.