Soon after midnight on December 3rd 1984, a highly toxic gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Northern Bhopal.
Locals fled their homes, choked, blinded. By the following day the streets were lined with corpses.
The Bhopal disaster shocked the world. But more than three decades on, the catastrophe continues. Thousands of survivors still suffer the after-effects of gas poisoning. The damage has been passed on in to their children through cancers and malformations.
And the gas leak was not the only source. For years even before the catastrophic gas leak, toxic waste had been dumped on the site and in nearby solar evaporation ponds, poisoning the water supply.
Today, water pumps in the area are tied shut: the water is too dangerous to drink. The results to health remain devastating – birth deformities, disabilities, severe and chronic illnesses. And the water contamination has spread. Evidence of toxicity has been found up to 5km away.
Affected communities are still fighting for the basic right to clean water. Bhopal still waits for justice.
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Books and articles
- Five Past Midnight in Bhopal by Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro
- Animal’s People by Indra Sinha
- The Bhopal Marathon, obtainable from The Bhopal Medical Appeal website.
- "The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster Is Still Unfolding" The Atlantic, 10th July 2018
- "Bhopal gas leak: 30 years later and after nearly 600,000 were poisoned, victims still wait for justice" The Independent, 14th February 2019
Statistics via the Bhopal Medical Appeal