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India’s Bhopal Cyanide Gas Leak

1984

“The leak of methyl isocyanate gas from a chemical plant operated by U.S. company Union Carbide in Bhopal, India, kills at least four thousand people, sickens an estimated half million people, and leaves survivors with numerous health ailments, including blindness, chronic respiratory trouble, and birth defects. The Indian government accepts a settlement of about $470 million from Union Carbide in 1989 that victims say is inadequate. New Delhi seeks the extradition of the company’s CEO from the United States for criminal prosecution, but Washington refuses and he never returns and dies in 2014. Victims continue to fight for compensation. Following the incident, the Indian government passes laws to address industrial accidents, including the 1986 Environment Protection Act and the 1991 Public Liability Insurance Act.” Council on Foreign Relations

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Ecological Disasters