A gas leak incident on 2 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas. The highly toxic substance made its way into and around the small towns located near the plant.
Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.
The Indian government and local activists argue that slack management and deferred maintenance created a situation where routine pipe maintenance caused a backflow of water into a MIC tank, triggering the disaster. Union Carbide Corporation argues water entered the tank through an act of sabotage.
Featured Image: The Union Carbide Corp. plant in Bhopal / Image: via bhopal.net