Dow denies change in responsibility over Bhopal disaster

03 December 2004 13:36  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--Dow Chemical denied on Friday that it had reversed its corporate policy over responsibility for the world's worst chemicals accident.

A spokesman for Dow told CNI that reports on the BBC World television service that it had accepted responsibility for the Bhopal disaster in India 20 years ago were completely false.

The BBC had quoted a spokeswoman purporting to represent Dow that it had put together a $12bn (Euro9.0bn) compensation plan for victims of the disaster.

More than 7000 people died when lethal methyl isocyanate gas escaped from Union Carbide's pesticides plant at Bhopal. Union Carbide was taken over by Dow Chemical in 2001.

Peter Paul Van de Wijs of Dow Europe said there was "no basis whatsoever" for the report, which the BBC had now withdrawn after admitting it had been hoaxed.

Van de Wijs reiterated that Dow Chemical had never owned or operated the plant and had no responsibility for the disaster. He said the issue of corporate responsibility had been resolved under a settlement reached between Union Carbide and the Indian government and approved by India's Supreme Court in 1989.

By: Neil Sinclair
+44 20 8652 3214

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