Full Text

Bhopal disaster (2–3 December 1984)


Subject History

Place Southern Asia » India

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


Extract

The worst industrial disaster so far. At Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state in India, 45 tons of toxic gas escaped from a storage tank at a pesticide plant run by a subsidiary of the US Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). The safety system at the understaffed plant did not work as the gas drifted over the densely populated neighbourhood, killing many instantly and causing panic as thousands fled. 3,500 died as a result of the accident and another 60,000 were left with serious health problems: many were permanently disabled, while others suffered from psychological disorders. Between 150,000 and 250,000 people were affected. The disaster illustrated the problems developing countries meet in their relations with multinational corporations (MNCs) as they try to expand economically. The Indian government of Rajiv gandhi was in a dilemma, as it wanted to protect the victims without frightening off MNCs from investing in India. It settled out of court in 1989. Despite the Bhopal disaster and the closure of the plant there, the Gandhi government continued its policy of reducing controls on MNCs in order to attract foreign investment. The Bhopal Tragedy , ( 1986 ). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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