Bhopal gas tragedy is among world’s major disasters: UN report


United Nations: The 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy which killed thousands of people is among the world’s “major industrial accidents” of the 20th century, a UN report has said.

The report said at least 30 tons of methyl isocyanate gas was released from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Madhya Pradesh capital.

It had affected more than 600,000 workers and nearby inhabitants, the report said.

The UN report said:”The Government figures estimate that there have been 15,000 deaths as a result of the disaster over the years. Toxic material remains and thousands of survivors and their descendants have suffered from respiratory diseases and from damage to internal organs and immune systems”.

The report entitled ‘The Safety and Health at the Heart of the Future of Work – Building on 100 years of experience’, said the Bhopal disaster was among the world’s “major industrial accidents after 1919”.

The other nine major industrial disasters after 1919 are listed in the report. They are the Chernobyl , Fukushima nuclear disasters  and Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

In the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station in Ukraine exploded, releasing at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Thirty one persons were killed immediately and thousands of people in the aftermath, the UN report said.

In one of the worst industrial disasters in Bangladesh, the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka collapsed in April 2013.

The building, which housed five garment factories, killed at least 1,132 people and injured more than 2,500.

Latest estimates released by the ILO said each year 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases.

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