The Bhopal gas tragedy was a major disaster that occurred in 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Fact 1. Thousands of people were killed after a poisonous gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on December 2, 1984.
Fact 2. UCIL was a subsidiary of the U.S. company called UCC or Union Carbide Corporation.
Fact 3. At around midnight on December 2, 1984, over 500,000 people were exposed to poisonous gases called methyl isocyanate (MIC) and other toxins.
Fact 4. Death as reported by the government’s agents ranged within 15,000. An estimated 8,000 succumbed within the first week, and another 8,000 succumbed later due to gas-related ailments.
Fact 5. The Bhopal gas explosion caused the people of Bhopal city to wake up with a burning sensation, causing great unrest and panic.
Fact 6. The gas leakage resulted in short-term health implications amongst the people living in the surrounding areas. Thousands of its citizens faced instant death whereas there were many who died due to being trampled upon in the panic.
Fact 7. By the next morning of the tragedy, as expected, thousands had succumbed to the gas. Mass funerals and cremations as well as the disposal of bodies in the Narmada River was a common scene. Religious beliefs dictated that bodies had to be buried or cremated as soon as possible upon death.
Fact 8. The total number of children exposed to the gases was within the range of 200,000. Around 1.5 million people were provided with treatment at hospitals and temporary medical setups. In terms of husbandry, around 2,000 animals died.
Fact 9. There was monetary compensation received which was used for the education of children, hospitals were built, and housing conditions improved.
Fact 10. During the aftermath of the tragedy, the recovery process was slow as the support services for treatment of gas inhalation were poor. Medical personnel were not adequately equipped to handle gas victims, and the sheer numbers of those requiring immediate attention was beyond the capabilities of the health system.