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Children's LiteratureBryan recounts the environmental disaster of 1984 when a toxic gas leak in Bhopal, India, killed more than 3,000 people and injured thousands more. In the introduction, Bryan explains how a leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant sent forty-six tons of gas into the environment. It was the worst industrial accident ever. Chapter one tells about the building of the plant in 1969 which local residents considered "beautiful." Although the danger of producing pesticides and poor plant safety was questioned, residents of Bhopal and surrounding areas were happy to have jobs at the plant. When the toxic gas shot up from the tank, terror erupted in Bhopal. A gas cloud hung over the land. Many people lost their sight, had damaged lungs and loss of brain function. Bryan does a good job of showing the consequences of such a disaster, long term health problems, and legal actions taken against Union Carbide. It took seven years to settle the case on behalf of the victims. Color photographs, sidebars, a time line, glossary, and further reading and information is included. 2004, World Almanac Library, Ages 10 up.
— Della A. Yannuzzi