The 1984 gas leak from Union Carbide’s Bhopal plant is one of the world’s worst industrial disasters that left thousands dead
GN Bureau | December 2, 2016
Thirty two-years back on this day, when Bhopal slept, a poisonous gas leaked from the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) factory which was built in 1969 to produce a pesticide called Sevin. This gas was deadly methyl isocyanate which affected more than 5 lakh people.
READ: Here is a list of people who played key role in the denial of justice to the victims
Though the estimates on the death toll vary, the Madhya Pradesh government confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths, 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.
READ: Bhopal: Lessons of the past, for future
The reason of this horrific accident has not been established.
Here’s a chronology of events:
December 2-3, 1984: The gas releases from Union Carbide India Ltd's (UCIL) pesticide plant. Thousands were killed and millions were affected.
December 4, 1984: Warren Anderson, the chairman of Union Carbide, was arrested along with nine others. He was out on bail of $2,000, upon a promise to return. Union Carbide is named as the 10th accused in a criminal case charged with culpable homicide.
1985: Government files claim for $3.3 billion from Union Carbide in a US court.
1986: US district court judge transfers all Bhopal litigation to India.
1987: CBI files chargesheet against Warren Anderson and other accused.
February 1989: Non-bailable warrant of arrest against Warren Anderson for repeatedly ignoring summons. Government and union carbide fix an out-of-court deal and the company provided a compensation of $470 million.
February - March 1989: People start protesting the unjust settlement followed by filing of a number of review and writ petitions against.
1992: Part of $470 million is disbursed by the government among Bhopal gas victims.
February 1992: Anderson was declared fugitive by law for ignoring court summons.
November 1994: Despite numerous petitions by survivors' groups, the Supreme Court allows Union Carbide to sell stake in UCIL to McLeod Russell (India) Ltd of Calcutta.
June 2010: Seven former employees of UCIL, (all Indians) were convicted of causing death by negligence. They were each sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Rs one lakh each. However, all were released on bail shortly after the verdict.
September 2014: Anderson died at the age of 92 at a nursing home in the US.
Governance Now on Thursday bagged the REACH Media Awards for 2017-2018 for best reporting (English category) on tuberculosis (TB) at an event co-hosted by REACH, USAID and Lilly Global Health in partnership with the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis. Our cover story
N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday parted ways from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the centre. The official quitting of the alliance was preceded by the pulling out of two ministers out of the Narendra Modi government, a week ago. The
What is Narendra Modi’s biggest electoral success during the current term as prime minister? At first blush, most would say the Uttar Pradesh victory. That would be looking at the obvious (UP is the heart of the Hindi heartland) and at mere numbers (it has the maximum Lok Sabha seats). Yes, it was a
The killing of a seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School, Gurgaon, suddenly brought focus on violence by students in school. It was a gruesome case indeed: On September 8 last year, Barun Chandra Thakur dropped his children, including seven-year-old Pradyuman, at school around 8 am. By the time he
Like our jails, our correction centres for juvenile offenders are hardly conducive to bringing about positive change. No one will dispute the fact that an underaged criminal, especially if he or she is a first-timer, needs to be given a chance to reform, however heinous the crime. Unfortunately, society&rs
Finland has emerged as the world’s happiest country, as per the World Happiness Report 2018. The report has ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. This year, the main focus of the report is on migration within and between countries.