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Indian athletes urge London 2012 Olympic organizers to scrap Dow Chemical contract

Indian athletes and rights organizations...urged 2012 Olympic organizers to scrap a sponsorship deal with the Dow Chemical...over concerns about the firm’s links to the world’s worst industrial disaster, which killed thousands of people in India nearly three decades ago. An estimated 15,000 people died and tens of thousands were maimed when poisonous gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal in central India in 1984. Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide in 2001 but denies responsibility for Carbide’s Bhopal liabilities. Dow has maintained that it never owned or operated the Bhopal plant and that legal claims regarding the gas leak were resolved when Union Carbide paid $470 million as compensation for those killed or injured. The Indian government is seeking an additional $1.7 billion for the victims...In a letter to the organizing committee for the 2012 London games, at least 21 Indian Olympic athletes urged it to scrap Dow’s sponsorship...Dow’s office in India referred an email request for comment to the company’s U.S. headquarters.