after midnight on Sunday 3rd December, poison gas began leaking
from a factory in Bhopal, India, owned by the Union Carbide Corporation.
There was no warning, none of the plant's safety systems wereworking.
A thick cloud of gas rolled across the road and entered the narrow
alleys on the other side. In the city people were sleeping, some
in kuccha houses, which had no proper windows or doors. They
woke with eyes, nose and mouths burning. A commonly related story
is that people thought someone was burning chillies. They began
coughing and retching. Panic set in and entire neighbourhoods ran
out of their houses in whatever they were wearing, some wore nothing
at all. Within hours thousands lay dead in the streets. For survivors'
accounts of "that night", click here, and for a more detailed
history of event, please follow the Bhopal link above.
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us on the 20th anniversary of the Union Carbide gas disaster to
strike a blow at rogue companies.
politicians and corporations do not live up to their obligations,
it is only solidarity among workers, trade unions and peoples
groups that can carry us forward." RASHIDA BEE, President,
Bhopal Gas Affected Women Stationery Workers Association & Joint
Winner with Champa Devi Shukla of the 2004 Goldman Prize for the