8 Sentenced in 1984 Bhopal Accident

On December 3rd, 1984, at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, there was a huge chemical accident when methyl isocyanate (MIC) leaked from a burst valve. As many as 25,000 died as a direct result of exposure as the deadly cloud drifted over the city of 900,000 people, where many lived in very poor conditions. Official figures put the immediate death toll at 2,500, with an additional 15,000 people dying in the years since. It is simply the world’s worst industrial accident.

Today, over 25 years later, 8 people were convicted of negligence that led to the accidental release of MIC. That it took so long for convictions is bad enough (many of the defendants are now in their 70s), but the lightness of the punishments is equally puzzling and terrible. Activist Satinath Sarangi was quoted by the BBC:

“It sets a very sad precedent. The disaster has been treated like a traffic accident. It is a judicial disaster, and it is a betrayal [of Indian people] by the government.”

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This entry was posted in safety.

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