Dilip, a rickshaw driver in Bhopal, India, lands himself a job at the Union Carbide plant. It is a chance to prove his worth to his family and pull them out of poverty. The job is tough with long hours; everyone is desperate to hold on to their pay cheque and so Dilip keeps quiet when he notices managers at the plant ignoring safety standards. Dilip's long time friend, Motwani, a tabloid journalist knows that Bhopal residents complain of the constant stench in the air and wake up at night choking from the gas. He is on a mission to expose what he believes is a deadly time bomb ticking away in his home town. He feels as if no one will listen but when he meets feisty American journalist, Eva, he sees a ray of hope and persuades her to confront Carbide executive Warren Anderson.