In December 1984 at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal,
India, 36 metric tons of gas used to create pesticides erupted from an underground storage tank and caused an explosive chemical
reaction. 600,000 people were exposed to the deadly methyl isocyanate gas and
to the hydrogen cyanide that formed from it in the atmosphere. 2,500 people were
killed outright from exposure to the gas, and 2,500 more have died since then. Between
50,000 and 60,000 survivors have serious respiratory, ophthalmic, intestinal, reproductive and neurological problems. The Union Carbide company granted $470 million to clean up, but even today there are
risks of harmful chemicals and heavy metals being in the drinking water of surrounding towns.