The cursed children of Bhopal [India]
When people in Bhopal talk of the gas they are referring to the 40 tonnes of toxic chemicals that poured into the sky from an insecticide factory in the early hours of 3 December 1984, wreaking deadly havoc. Up to 8,000 people died in the immediate aftermath, perhaps two and half times that in the subsequent months. But now, almost a quarter-century after the world's worst industrial accident, campaigners are fighting to help a "second generation" of suffering Bhopalis who they say are victims of contaminated water and political and corporate neglect... Having paid $470m (£313m) in "full and final" settlement in 1989 as part of a deal brokered by the Indian government, UCC [Union Carbide (now part of Dow Chemical)] returned the leased plant site to the state government in 1998... Scott Wheeler, a Dow spokesman, insisted the company had not inherited the responsibilities of UCC. "[We] never owned or operated the former Bhopal plant site and this situation is not Dow's responsibility, accountability, or liability to bear..." he said.