On this day December 3, 1984

Accidental release of methyl isocyanate over Bhopal, India, resulted in at least 20,000 total deaths and affected over 120,000 others in one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

The disaster that occurred in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, resulting in the immediate deaths of more than 3,000 people, according to the Indian Supreme Court. A more probable figure is that 8,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that an additional 8,000 have since died from gas related diseases.

The incident took place in the early hours of the morning of December 3, 1984, in the heart of the city of Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. A Union Carbide subsidiary pesticide plant released 42 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, exposing at least 520,000 people to toxic gases. The Bhopal disaster is frequently cited as the world’s worst industrial disaster. The International Medical Commission on Bhopal was established in 1993 to respond to the disasters.

Now owned by Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide denies allegations against it on its website dedicated to the tragedy. The corporation believes that the accident was the result of sabotage, stating that safety systems were in place and operative. It also stresses that it did all it could to alleviate human suffering following the disaster.

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