Bhopal (pop. c. 1,062,700), capital of Madhya Pradesh in central India. On December 3, 1984, a deadly cloud of toxic gas leaked from a Union Carbide plant, killing some 2,000 people and injuring about 200,000 others for the worst industrial accident in history. The Indian government filed lawsuits in the U.S. and in India, charging Union Carbide with negligence. Union Carbide offered a $350-million settlement over a period of 30 years, which the Indian government refused. The U.S. courts rejected the suit in 1986, but in 1989 the Indian Supreme Court ordered Union Carbide to pay $470 million in damages, which seemed to close the matter although many in India still felt the assessment was too low.
See also: India.