The Bhopal Gas Disaster

On the night of December 2nd, 1984, a defective tank at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal began leaking 27 tonnes of deadly methyl isocyanate gas into the air. By morning, more than half a million people had been exposed, and thousands had lost their lives.

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The Bhopal Gas Disaster

On the night of December 2nd, 1984, a defective tank at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal began leaking 27 tonnes of deadly methyl isocyanate gas into the air. By morning, more than half a million people had been exposed, and thousands had lost their lives.

The Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) factory had been built in 1969 to produce the pesticide Sevin. A methyl isocyanate (MIC) production plant was added to the factory in 1979, housing three underground 68,000 litre storage tanks of MIC. On the night of December 2nd, 1984, water entered one of the storage tanks during routine maintenance, causing an exothermic reaction that breached the tank and released the gas into the air. The deadly cloud was blown for miles across the city of Bhopal, enveloping the many small hutments and shantytowns around the factory site. In total more than 500,000 people were exposed to the gas, and as of today more than 25,0000 have died of their injuries.

Telling the tale of the disaster, this short film was made specially for the BMA by Van Maximilian Carlson, director of award winning documentary Bhopali.

What Happened

On the night of December 2nd, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate.

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Health Holocaust

Methyl Isocyanate gas is extremely toxic and dangerous to human health when inhaled or ingested. Exposure symptoms to small quantities include chest pain, coughing, asthma, and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Exposure to higher quantities can cause pulmonary lung edema, haemorrhages, bronchial pneumonia, and death.

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People's Stories

Read stories and accounts from survivors about that fateful night when the gas leaked and their experiences living through the long years since in the shadow of the disaster.

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