At dawn of December 3, 1984, a toxic cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, and speedily blow-out thru the city. People were dying and vomiting and gasping for air. The rest were pouring into unprepared area hospitals or desperately attempting to outpace the fumes. Dog, bird, cow, and water buffalo corpses reportedly lined the streets. Investigations later uncovered a slew of safety violations at the plant, including broken and outdated equipment. Lax management also played a role; a supervisor, for example, allegedly broke for tea at the moment of crisis, believing it was only a water leak.

Various estimates were made and roughly 15,000 Bhopal residents are believed to have died in what’s often referred to as history’s worst industrial accident. Hundreds of thousands of additional inhabitants suffered afflictions ranging from memory loss and nerve damage to blindness and organ failure. To this day, the site of the plant, now owned by Dow Chemical Company, remains highly contaminated.