Saturday, December 03, 2011

December 3 1984

Union Carbide Slaughter

"The Bhopal disaster (commonly referred to as Bhopal gas tragedy) was a gas leak incident in India, considered one of the world's worst industrial catastrophes. It occurred on the night of December 2–3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries."


Bhopal disaster protesters block India trains

"BHOPAL, India—Thousands of survivors of the world's worst industrial accident blocked trains through a central Indian city on Saturday to demand more compensation.

The protests were on the 27th anniversary of the disaster in Bhopal, where a Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked lethal gas that killed an estimated 15,000 people and maimed tens of thousands more.

Activist Rachna Dhingra said that police charged the protesters with sticks Saturday in trying to stop them from occupying Bhopal's five train lines, and that three people were hospitalized with injuries. The protesters, most of them women sitting on the tracks, in turn threw stones at the police.

Vowing to block trains indefinitely, the five Bhopal victims' rights groups that organized the protest demanded that Dow Chemicals, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, pay $8.1 billion in compensation for more than 500,000 people exposed to the leak.

The protesters -- shouting slogans including "We want compensation" -- said India's government accepted far too little in a 1985 settlement for $470 million, after initially asking for $3.3 billion.

The Indian government is seeking an additional $1.7 billion for the victims from Dow, and activists accuse the U.S. company of not cleaning up oil and groundwater contamination in Bhopal.

Meanwhile, Dow has maintained that the issue was resolved by the $470 million settlement."

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