Founded in the early 18th century, Bhopal is the capital and second most populous city (with an estimated population in 2001 of 1.4 million) of the central Indian state Madhya Pradesh, located 750 kilometers (460 miles) south of New Delhi. Major industries in the region include textiles, jewelry, jute, cotton, sugar, power-related products (e.g., transformers), and chemicals. However, it was the founding of the Union Carbide India, Limited (UCIL), pesticide plant by the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 1969 and the industrial catastrophe 15 years later that have become synonymous with Bhopal. In the late evening to early morning hours of December 2–3, 1984, a poisonous gas created from methyl isocyanate leaked from the UCIL plant, forming a toxic cloud that enveloped the city, ...

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