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date: 27 January 2022


A Dictionary of Contemporary World History

Christopher Riches,

Jan Palmowski

The capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. On 3 December 1984 it was the scene of the worst industrial accident in history, when around 30 tonnes of the toxic gas methyl isocyanate escaped from a plant owned by the US corporation Union Carbide. Probably 8,000 people died within three days, with the cumulative death toll now being up to 25,000. Over half a million people were affected by the gas, of whom over 100,000 suffered greater or lesser lung disease and other complications. Efforts by the Indian government to obtain adequate compensation for the victims because of Union Carbide's sub‐standard safety levels were only partially successful, mainly because of the intricacies of the legal system in the USA, where the trials were held. In ... ...

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