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10 Apr 2024

India: 40th anniversary of Bhopal gas tragedy

December 2024 marks 40 years since the Bhopal gas leak disaster in Madhya Pradesh state, India. This was one of the worst industrial catastrophes and corporate negligence cases in living memory.

At about midnight on 2 December 1984, a leak of about 40 tonnes of lethal Methyl Isocyanate gas (MIC) from the pesticide plant in Bhopal, then owned by US-based Union Carbide Corporation, quickly killed thousands of people in the informal housing around the plant. It is estimated that more than 22,000 people have died prematurely as a direct result of exposure to the gas, with deaths continuing to occur.

More than 500,000 were injured or have suffered permanent harms, including through the inter-generational impact of MIC exposure on reproductive health, and through water sources contaminated by chemicals left on the site.