Demand justice for victims of toxic gas leak in India
Thirty years ago, between 7,000 and 10,000 people died within three days of a toxic gas leak in Bhopal, central India.
On the night of December 2, 1984 a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India leaked methyl isocynate gas and other chemicals creating a dense toxic cloud over the region and killing more than 8,000 people in just the first few days, mainly from cardiac and respiratory arrest. Since then, 20,000 people lost their lives in Bhopal, India after a chemical gas spill from a pesticide factory. More than 40 tons of methyl isocyante (MIC) gas created a dense cloud over a resident population of more than half a million people. People woke in their homes to fits of coughing, their lungs filling with fluid.
The chemical factory responsible for this disaster belonged to Union Carbide, which negotiated a settlement with the Indian Government in 1989 for $470 million – a total of only $370 to $533 per victim – a sum too small to pay for most medical bills. Many survivors still suffer serious long-term health problems due to the effects of gas exposure – particularly women. What’s more, contamination from chemicals left at the abandoned factory site continues to a pose a serious health risk for the local community.
Thirty years on, Rampyari, Safreen and the people of Bhopal are still seeking justice. Survivors of the gas leak have not received adequate compensation to cover the full extent of their injuries. Many have been driven deeper into poverty. The polluted factory site has not been cleaned up. And the companies involved have not been held to account.
How can we help?
Together we can demand justice and urge the Indian government to clean up the factory site and ensure the companies responsible are held to account. Amnesty International is putting together a petition to send to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. In it we can ask the government to initiate a full environmental clean-up of the UCIL factory site and provide medical assistance for those affected, as well as hold the companies involved to account by ensuring they: pay adequate compensation to victims of the gas leak; comply with outstanding criminal proceedings; and cover the costs of the clean-up operation.
Supporting Amnesty International
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You can help
Sign the petition and demand justice for the people of Bhopal, India: