Indian court finds 8 guilty in Bhopal gas tragedy

07 June 2010 09:27  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--An Indian court has convicted eight people in connection with a gas leak in the Indian town of Bhopal that killed thousands and exposed another half a million people to toxic fumes over 25 years ago, media reports said on Monday.

The accident on 3 December 1984, in which over 40 tonnes of the chemical methyl isocyanate leaked from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal was one of India’s worst industrial disasters.

The eight accused include Keshub Mahindra, former chairman of Union Carbide in India and current chairman of Indian auto major Mahindra & Mahindra as well as Warren Anderson, former chairman of Union Carbide Corp.

The sentences are expected to be announced soon, according to media sources.

The pesticide plant, which was taken over by the state government of Madhya Pradesh in 1998, is still supposed to contain traces of poison, according to activists. 

Union Carbide had paid $470m to the Indian government twenty years ago as compensation for the leak which it has always claimed was an act of sabotage.

“The gas leak could only have been caused by deliberate sabotage. Someone purposely put water in the gas storage tank, and this caused a massive chemical reaction,” the company previously said in an official statement.

Dow Chemicals, which bought the company in 1999, says the settlement between Union Carbide and the Indian government had resolved all existing and future claims against the company.

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By: Priya Jestin

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