(Covers information from Anderson's universe)
Raccoon City was a city located somewhere in the United States.[note 1] It was a huge metropolis built by the Umbrella Corporation, with a population of nearly one million by 2002, and was used for conducting scientific research and experimentation. The city was destroyed after a viral outbreak, prompting a nuclear missile being fired into the city.
In the 2002 film Resident Evil, Raccoon City was built by the Umbrella Corporation and staged research in a large top-secret underground facility called The Hive. Most of its 853,200 residents were oblivious to the experiments beneath its streets.
In 2002, the T-virus escaped into the ventilation systems. Then, the giant supercomputer known as The Red Queen shut down The Hive, gassed some of its employees with Halon, dropped the occupied elevators at high speed, and drowned the others. Umbrella later sent in a special elite team of commandos in order to retrieve information about what had happened.
The team entered The Hive through a secret passage located within a mansion. It is later revealed, that the viral outbreak was intentionally done in order to smuggle out the T-virus and sell it on the black market. Just hours later, only two survivors emerged from The Hive, Matt Addison and Alice. Both were seized by Umbrella's scientists and taken to the Raccoon City Hospital for quarantine and experimentation.
Raccoon City outbreak
Immediately after Alice and Matt were taken away, the Umbrella Corporation sent in a research team to re-open The Hive. The team's insertion point was the main entrance beneath Raccoon City. Shortly after entering The Hive the entire team was slaughtered by T-virus zombies that had been sealed within the complex. With the entrance now open, Umbrella realized that before long, these highly infectious zombies would make their way to the surface and begin an unstoppable amplification of the infection.
Knowing that containing the outbreak would be nearly impossible, an emergency plan to evacuate key Umbrella personnel from the city was activated. Important researchers and administrators were collected by two-man teams and removed from the city. After the completion of this operation, the city was sealed. Raccoon City was considered a loss, and to keep the infection from spreading past the city limits, gates at the entry and egress points of the city were closed. Traffic into and out of the city was halted.
A screening center was established at one such point, Raven's Gate Bridge, the city's primary traffic artery. Manned by medics and heavily armed corporate soldiers, this checkpoint was a minor effort to save some civilians from the rapidly expanding disaster. Uninfected civilians were permitted to pass, and control of the increasingly panicked population was maintained by Raccoon City Police units and Umbrella soldiers. However, once an infected civilian did reach the blockade (and was subsequently killed), orders were given to completely seal the city. The gates were closed and locked down, stranding the helpless civilians still within the city limits.
Mercenary soldiers working for Umbrella attempted, and failed, to turn the tide of the zombie onslaught. Losses were staggering and not effective. With nearly all of the units dead, Umbrella's last-line plan was put into motion.
Shortly before dawn on September 30, 2002, a cruise missile equipped with a thermonuclear warhead was launched into the heart of downtown Raccoon City. Umbrella's public relations spin doctors were able to feed a convincing story to the media, who then reported that the city's destruction was due to a terrible accident at the Raccoon City Nuclear Power Facility nearby. Attempts by some of the survivors to spread the truth about what had really happened, met with failure.
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