Dow's research site in Pune put ablaze

25 July 2008 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Dow's under construction research centre near Shinde village at Maharashtra, India, was set on fire by a group of activists concerned about possible industrial pollution, a company spokesman said on Friday.

“We commissioned the construction activity at the site, which was halted for the last six months, by formally visiting the site which would have probably resulted in the agitation,” Nandu Sanglikar, Dow Chemical International's local director of public affairs told ICIS news.

Sanglikar said that 80 intruders arrived in SUV’s (sports utility vehicles) at 09:00 local time, entered the centre, set it on fire and threatened security personnel.

The activists destroyed a crane, crude stocks, pumps, machinery and office buildings, Sanglikar said.

A separate company source said they were armed with hammers, spanners and cans of kerosene, indicating that the attack was preplanned.

Eight people have been arrested and no-one was injured, Sanglikar said, adding that the research facility would be completed by 2009 as per scheduled.

Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide in 2001 for $10.3bn and has stated several times that it has already fulfilled financial responsibility for the Bhopal disaster through $470m in compensation. This has not been accepted by activists.

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By: Aaron Rodrigues
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