After 20 Years, Effects of Bhopal Tragedy Linger

An Indian Muslim couple suffering from breathing problems after the Bhopal gas tragedy. Reuters

An Indian Muslim couple suffering from breathing problems since the 1984 gas tragedy sit outside their house in Bhopal. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters
A woman in Bhopal views a photo exhibition on the 1984 gas tragedy in the Indian city. Reuters i

A woman in Bhopal views a photo exhibit on the 20th anniversary of the gas tragedy in the central Indian city. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters
A woman in Bhopal views a photo exhibition on the 1984 gas tragedy in the Indian city. Reuters

A woman in Bhopal views a photo exhibit on the 20th anniversary of the gas tragedy in the central Indian city.

Reuters

Twenty years ago, tons of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide factory owned by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India. It was one of the worst industrial accidents in history, with a death toll of more than 15,000. Some 3,500 died immediately, with terminal illnesses afflicting thousands more.

Today, many survivors say they have yet to receive compensation — a claim backed by Amnesty International. Critics of the cleanup effort at the site also say it remains a source of lethal toxins. Some estimates of those afflicted with illnesses since the 1984 disaster place the number above 500,000 people. Hear NPR's Miranda Kennedy.

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