AFP - More than 60 survivors and victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak began a trek to New Delhi on Wednesday to press for a clean-up of the toxic waste still surrounding the plant, activists said.

The disaster occurred on December 3, 1984 when a storage tank at the Union Carbide India Ltd. pesticide plant in Bhopal spewed deadly cyanide gas into the air, killing more than 3,500 slum dwellers immediately.

The toll has since climbed to more than 15,000, the government says.

But activists say the number of fatalities is double that.

They also say people still face health problems because of drinking toxic water and tens of thousands are chronically ill.

Activists say the plant site still contains around 5,000 tonnes of toxic chemicals and that chemicals have contaminated soil and water up to five kilometres (three miles) away.

The survivors want US giant Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide in 1999, to pay for the clean-up and health damages. They are also demanding that clean water is supplied.

RLCC: Clean it up Dow.

Originally from Yahoo! News: Environment News on February 20, 2008, 2:12pm

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.