30 years since Bhopal, one of the worst industrial disasters ever

Protests have marked the 30th anniversary of the Union Carbide Bhopal disaster in India.

AP reports that over 3,500 were killed immediately after the leak of methyl isocyanite from a pesticide factory on December 2, 1984, with an estimated 25,000 killed in following years.

An estimated 30 tonnes of cyanide gas leaked from the factory.

The ABC reports that there are still abnormally high rates of cancer, deformed babies and respiratory illness as lingering effects of the disaster.

"Bhopal is often talked about as a tragedy of 1984 – probably the biggest industrial tragedy of our time," Amnesty International’s secretary general Sanil Shetty said, according to the ABC.

"But the fact is that when you go there and you meet the women and you meet the children, you meet the families, you realise this is actually a disaster of today.

"The site needs to be cleaned up. The water is contaminated and the soil is contaminated."

Union Carbide paid out $US 470 million in compensation in 1989. Activists are demanding that Dow Chemical, which acquired Union Carbide in 2001, pay billions more in compensation.

"It is a shame that nothing significant has happened even in the last three decades,” campaigner Rashida Bee told AP.

We still hope that the just demands of increased compensation claims from corporations responsible are enforced by the Indian government."

Image: Reuters