December 2nd, 1986
On December 2nd, 1986, one of the worst industrial disasters in history occurred. A gas leak in a pesticide factory in Bhopal, India led to the deaths of over 15,000 people. The water in the city was contaminated. Over thirty years later, thousands of children have been born with birth defects. It’s estimated that almost half a million Indians suffer from the exposure, with effects ranging from heart disease to cancer to blindness.
In an interview with the Guardian, 67-year-old Omwati Yadav says “It would be better if there was another gas leak which could kill us all and put us all out of this misery…Thirty five years we have suffered through this, please just let it end. This is not life, this is not death, we are in the terrible place in between.” Her husband, Panna Lal Yadav, says “The poison is still inside my body…Here you can see it coming out.” The Guardian reports there were black lumps all across his body.
Still No Remedy
To this day, the site has not been cleaned by either the Dow Chemical Company, who bought the company responsible for the disaster, or the Indian government. The Indian High Court ordered the government to supply city residents with bottled water to mitigate the disaster. In 2010, however, several former executives were convicted by the court in Bhopal of negligence.