måndag 2 december 2013

29 YEARS SINCE THE BHOPAL GAS CATASTROPHE - when Union Carbide's plant let out toxic gases over 500,000 people

99 viewers until April 12, 2015

It is now 29 years since the inhabitants of the slum in Bhopal woke up of breathlessness and cough. Eyes and respiratory tracts were aching like fire. Some did never get up from their beddings. The others fled towards the hospital - many in vain. Around 8,000 people died during the first days. Since that, maybe 10,000 or 20,000 have died in gas related diseases. It is estimated that 100,000 of the 500,000 exposed people have permanent injuries.

It was from Union Carbide's plant for manufacturing pesticides that the toxic gas cloud spread. It contained methyl isocyanate, cyanide, phosgene and many other substances. The accident was expected as many incidents had happened earlier and the safety was neglected. Toxic waste from the manufacturing was dumped into a plastic ceiled pond outside the plant area. From there, during more than 30 years, it has leaked into the ground water. The people who migrated from poor villages to Bhopal and settled down around the plant has no other choice than drinking this water. The incidence of children with malformations is unusual high. 

Still, the fight for justice and support is going on. Dow Chemical, that has bought Union Carbide, denies all responsibility. This can be compared with the originally Swedish company ABB, that, according to American law, had to take over the compensation claims when it bought an asbestos company.

On December 2, a large demonstration will take place in Bhopal.

The movie Bhopali is a documentary of extraordinary quality. Here are fresh pictures from demonstrations, a row of interviews, reportage about the handicapped children and films from 1984. The colours, sounds, environments are there - it is only the smells that are missing. The only copy in Sweden is with me. Do you want to see it? Contact me at ingrid/ag/eckerman.nu, +46 8 600 15 56 or +46 70 55 73 193.

I am the author of The Bhopal Saga - causes and consequences of the world's largest industrial disaster. Now I am a persona non grata in India - banned. In 2010, although I hade a visa, I was sent back by return flight. This shows how sensitive this issue still is for the Indian authorities.

I am very sorry that I cannot visit my family and grandchildren in Bhopal. Read more under "Bhopal".

Bhopali the movie

Statement 2013 from survivors' organisations

My website

Pressrelease 2012


The Bhopal Medical Appeal

Chingari Trust


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