On December 3, 1984, a chemical plant run by Union Carbide and located in Bhopal, India released about 40 tons of a toxic gas which was an intermediate chemical used in creating pesticides. (That is, the plant was in the business of creating chemicals deadly to life.) Safety at the plant had not been a concern of management; numerous safety systems were offline or non-functional. The gas cloud drifted over the city and killed thousands of people, and inflicted permanent injury to hundreds of thousands more. It was the worst industrial accident to date. Today, the site remains a contaminated wasteland, unusable and never cleaned up. The survivors have been minimally compensated, but as time passes, enough of them have died that compensation may now be in the works. Update: 12/03 15:51 GMT by M : Whoops, just kidding, the Reuters story linked there is wrong; the BBC was apparently hoaxed into putting a Dow spokesman on TV who wasn't actually a Dow spokesman. Dow has no plans to clean up the facility and no plans to compensate the survivors. Hope this clears things up.