Major industrial accidents this century include: Halifax (Canada) 1917, munitions and explosives (2,000 to 3,000 killed, 8,000 injured); Oppan (Germany) 1921, fertilizer extraction (560 killed, 3,000 injured); Hawk's Nest (USA) 1931-35, silicosis during tunnelling (2,000 to 3,000 killed); Texas City (USA) 1947, explosive-triggered fire (600 killed, 2,000 injured); Ludwigshafen (Germany) 1948, chemical factory fire (200 killed, 4,000 injured); Seveso (Italy) 1976, dioxin manufacturing plant explosion (40,000 domestic and farm animals killed; 400 children affected by chloracne, 400 abortions, significant rise in incidence of cancer); San Carlos de la Rapita (Spain) 1978, road tanker fire (200 killed); Salang Tunnel (Afghanistan) 1982, petrol tank truck fire (2,000 to 2,700 killed); Cubato (Brazil) 1984, explosion from leaking pipeline (600 killed, 3,000 injured); Ixhautepec (Mexico) 1984, explosion of stored petroleum gas (1,500 killed, 7,000 injured).
On December 3, 1984, a pesticide Union Carbide Corporation plant in Bhopal, India accidentally released approximately 40 metric tons of methyl isocyanate into the atmosphere. The incident was a catastrophe for Bhopal with an estimated 3000 casualties, 200,000 injuries, and significant damage to livestock and crops. The long-term health effects from such an incident are difficult to evaluate; the International Medical Commission on Bhopal estimated that as of 1994 upwards of 50,000 people remained partially or totally disabled.
A toxic gas leak at the Sequoia Fuels Corporation plant in Gore, Oklahoma, USA killed one worker and injured at least 30 others. At Institute, West Virginia, another leak injured at least 135 people. On October 31, 1986 a gigantic spill of mercury and pesticides from the Sandoz chemical plan in Basel, Switzerland poisoned some 200 miles of the Rhine river.