Dec 3, 2008

India - 24th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy

BHOPAL: The city on Wednesday observed the 24th anniversary of what is termed the world's worst-ever industrial disaster -- the Bhopal gas tragedy
-- the effects of which continue to be visible till date.

Observance of the anniversary began last night when a torch rally was carried out to mark the occasion and effigies of Warren Anderson, the then Chairman of Union Carbide, where Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked causing the tragedy, were burnt at several places.

An all-religion prayer meeting was held in the morning at the Barkatullah Bhavan in memory of victims.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Governor Balram Jakhar did not make it to the meeting.

With the passage of time, observance of the anniversary has been reduced to a mere token ritual, but all local government offices in the city remain closed on December 3 to let people participate in functions held on the occasion.

The tragedy occurred on the night of December 2-3 in 1984 following the leak of the lethal MIC from the then Union Carbide plant located here.

On the night of the tragedy, around 3,000 people lost their lives and the number has gone up to 35,000 in the last 24 years and the lakhs injured continue to suffer.

According to organisations working for the tragedy affected victims, there were three lakh people suffering from serious gas-related diseases even now.

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