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The Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Introduction

In the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, a poisonous grey cloud (forty tons of toxic gases) from Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL's) pesticide plant at Bhopal spread throughout the city. Water carrying catalytic material had entered Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) storage tank No. 610. What followed was a nightmare. The killer gas spread through the city, sending residents scurrying through the dark streets. No alarm ever sounded a warning and no evacuation plan was prepared. When victims arrived at hospitals breathless and blind, doctors did not know how to treat them, as UCIL had not provided emergency information. It was only when the sun rose the next morning that the magnitude of the devastation was clear. Dead bodies of humans and animals blocked the streets, leaves turned black, the smell of burning chilli peppers lingered in the air. Estimates suggested that as many as 10,000 may have died immediately and 30,000 to 50,000 were too ill to ever return to their jobs. The catastrophe raised some serious ethical issues. The pesticide factory was built in the midst of densely populated settlements. UCIL chose to store and produce MIC, one of the most deadly chemicals (permitted exposure levels in USA and Britain are 0.02 parts per million), in an area where nearly 120,000 people lived. The MIC plant was not designed to handle a runaway reaction. When the uncontrolled reaction started, MIC was flowing through the scrubber (meant to neutralize MIC emissions) at more than 200 times its designed capacity. MIC in the tank was filled to 87% of its capacity while the maximum permissible was 50%. MIC was not stored at zero degree centigrade as prescribed and the refrigeration and cooling systems had been shut down five months before the disaster, as part of UCC's global economy drive. Vital gauges and indicators in the MIC tank were defective. The flare tower meant to burn off MIC emissions was under repair at the time of the disaster and the scrubber contained no caustic soda. As part of UCC's drive to cut costs, the work force in the Bhopal factory was brought down by half from 1980 to 1984. This had serious consequences on safety and maintenance. The size of the work crew for the MIC plant was cut in half from twelve to six workers. The maintenance supervisor position had been eliminated and there was no maintenance supervisor. The period of safety-training to workers in the MIC plant was brought down from 6 months to 15 days.

On the night of December 2, 1984, during routine maintenance operations at the MIC plant, at about 9.30 p.m., a large quantity of water entered storage tank no. 610 containing over 40 tons of MIC. This triggered off a reaction, resulting in a tremendous increase of temperature and pressure in the tank. 40 tonnes of MIC, along with Hydrogen Cyanide and other reaction products burst past the ruptured disc into the night air of Bhopal at around 12.30 a.m. Safety systems were grossly under-designed and inoperative. Senior factory officials knew of the lethal build-up in the tank at least one hour before the leakage, yet the siren to warn neighbourhood communities was sounded more than one hour after the leak started. By then, the poisonous gases had covered an area of 40 sq.kms. killing thousands of people. Over 500 thousand experienced acute breathlessness, pain in the eyes, and vomiting as they inhaled the deadly vapours. They ran in panic to get away from the poisonous cloud that hung close to the ground for more than four hours. When people poured into hospitals by thousands, their eyes and lungs in burning, choking agony, the doctors called up the plant medical officer to find out what they ought to do. Dr Loya, UCIL's official doctor in Bhopal replied, "It is not a deadly gas, just irritating, a sort of tear gas." Unofficial estimates put the death toll at over 16,000. A study carried out by a Non Governmental Organization in March, 1985 showed that between 50% - 70% of the non-hospitalised population in exposed areas of Bhopal had one or more symptoms of MIC poisoning. According to an epidemiological study sponsored by Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, in October 1989, 70% to 80% of the people in the severely affected communities and 40% to 50% in the mildly affected communities continued to suffer from MIC exposure related illnesses five years after the disaster. A house to house symptom survey in one community, conducted as part of a doctoral dissertation in Delhi University in early 1993, showed 65.7%

people suffering from respiratory symptoms, 68.4% with neurological problems and 49% with ophthalmic symptoms. Among the women in the reproductive age, 43.2% suffered from reproductive disorders.

Timeline, summary
At the plant[4]

21:00 Water cleaning of pipes starts. 22:00 Water enters tank 610, reaction starts. 22:30 Gases are emitted from the vent gas scrubber tower. 00:30 The large siren sounds and is turned off. 00:50 The siren is heard within the plant area. The workers escape.


22:30 First sensations due to the gases are feltsuffocation, cough, burning eyes and vomiting. 1:00 Police are alerted. Residents of the area evacuate. Union Carbide director denies any leak. 2:00 The first people reached Hamidia Hospital. Symptoms include visual impairment and blindness, respiratory difficulties, frothing at the mouth, and vomiting. 2:10 The alarm is heard outside the plant. 4:00 The gases are brought under control. 7:00 A police loudspeaker broadcasts: "Everything is normal".

Cause of Bhopal Gas leak

A large volume of water had apparently been introduced into the methylisocyanate (MIC) tank, causing a chemical reaction forcing the pressure release valve to open and allowing the gas to leak. Factors leading to the gas leak include:

The use of hazardous chemicals (MIC) instead of less dangerous ones Storing these chemicals in large tanks instead of over 200 steel drums. Possible corroding material in pipelines Poor maintenance after the plant ceased production in the early 1980s Failure of several safety systems (due to poor maintenance and regulations). Safety systems being switched off to save moneyincluding the MIC tank refrigeration system which alone would have prevented the disaster.

The problem was made worse by the plant's location near a densely populated area, non-existent catastrophe plans and shortcomings in health care and socio-economic rehabilitation. Analysis shows that the parties responsible for the magnitude of the disaster are the two owners, Union Carbide Corporation and the Government of India, and to some extent, the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Health effects Short term health effects Reversible reaction of glutathione (top) with methyl isocyanate (MIC, middle) allows the MIC to be transported into the body The leakage caused many short term health effects in the surrounding areas. Apart from MIC, the gas cloud may have contained phosgene, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, oxides of nitrogen, monomethyl amine (MMA) and carbon dioxide, either produced in the storage tank or in the atmosphere.[4] The gas cloud was composed mainly of materials denser than the surrounding air, stayed close to the ground and spread outwards through the surrounding community. The initial effects of exposure were coughing, vomiting, severe eye irritation and a feeling of suffocation. There were mass funerals and mass cremations as well as disposal of bodies in the Narmada river. 170,000 people were treated at hospitals and temporary dispensaries. 2,000 buffalo, goats, and other animals were collected and buried. Within a few days, leaves on trees yellowed and fell off. Supplies, including food,

became scarce owing to suppliers' safety fears. Fishing was prohibited as well, which caused further supply shortages.[4] The acute symptoms were burning in the respiratory tract and eyes, blepharospasm, breathlessness, stomach pains and vomiting. The causes of deaths were choking, reflexogenic circulatory collapse and pulmonary oedema. Findings during autopsies revealed changes not only in the lungs but also cerebral oedema, tubular necrosis of the kidneys, fatty degeneration of the liver and necrotising enteritis.[32] The stillbirth rate increased by up to 300% and neonatal mortality rate by 200%. Long term health effects It is estimated that 20,000 have died since the accident from gas-related diseases. Another 100,000 to 200,000 people are estimated to have permanent injuries.[4] There is a clinic established by a group of survivors and activists known as Sambhavna. Sambhavna is the only clinic that will treat anybody affected by the gas, or the subsequent water poisoning, and treats the condition with a combination of Western and traditional Indian medicines, and has performed extensive research.[38] Union Carbide as well as the Indian Government long denied permanent injuries by MIC and the other gases. In January 1994, the International Medical Commission on Bhopal (IMCB) visited Bhopal to investigate the health status among the survivors as well as the health care system and the socioeconomic rehabilitation. The reports from Indian Council of Medical Research[22] were not completely released until around 2003. Aftermath of the leakage

Medical staff were unprepared for the thousands of casualties.[4] Doctors and hospitals were not informed of proper Victims of Bhopal disaster asking for treatment methods for MIC gas inhalation. [4] Warren Anderson's extradition from USA "Operation Faith": On December 16, the tanks 611 and 619 were emptied of the remaining MIC. This led to a second mass evacuation from Bhopal.[4] Formal statements were issued that air, water, vegetation and foodstuffs were safe within the city. At the same time, people were informed that poultry was unaffected, but were warned not to consume fish.

Economic rehabilitation

Immediate relief was decided two days after the tragedy.[4] Relief measures commenced in 1985 when food was distributed for a short period and ration cards were distributed.[4] Widow pension of the rate of Rs 200/per month (later Rs 750) was provided.[4] One-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 1,500 to families with monthly income Rs 500 or less was decided.[4] From 1990 interim relief of Rs 200 was paid to everyone in the family who was born before the disaster.[4] Effects of interim relief were more children sent to school, more money spent on treatment, more money spent on food, improvement of housing conditions.[4] The management of registration and distribution of relief showed many shortcomings.[39] In 2007, 1,029,517 cases were registered and decided. Number of awarded cases were 574,304 and number of rejected cases 455,213. Total compensation awarded was Rs.1,546.47 crores.[40] .[4]

Occupational rehabilitation

33 of the 50 planned work-sheds for gas victims started. All except one was closed down by 1992.[4] 1986, the MP government invested in the Special Industrial Area Bhopal. 152 of the planned 200 work-sheds were built. In 2000, 16 were partially functioning.[4] It is estimated that 50,000 persons need alternative jobs, and that less than 100 gas victims have found regular employment under the government's scheme.[4]

Habitation rehabilitation

2,486 flats in two- and four-story buildings were constructed in the "Widows colony" outside Bhopal. The water did not reach the upper floors. It was not possible to keep cattle. Infrastructure like buses, schools, etc. were missing for at least a decade.[4]

Health care

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the health care system became tremendously overloaded. Within weeks, the State Government established a number of hospitals, clinics and mobile units in the gas-affected area.[4] Radical health groups set up JSK (the People's Health Centre) that was working a few years from 1985.

Since the leak, a very large number of private practitioners have opened in Bhopal. In the severely affected areas, nearly 70 percent do not appear to be professionally qualified.[4] The Government of India has focused primarily on increasing the hospital-based services for gas victims. Several hospitals have been built after the disaster. In 1994, there were approximately 1.25 beds per 1,000, compared to the recommendation from the World bank of 1.0 beds per 1,000 in developing countries.[4] The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) is a 350-bedded super speciality hospital. Heart surgery and hemodialysis are done. Sambhavna Trust is a charitable trust that registered in 1995. The clinic gives modern and Ayurvedic treatments to gas victims, free of charge.[4][44]

Environmental rehabilitation

When the factory was closed in 19851986, pipes, drums and tanks were cleaned and sold. The MIC and the Sevin plants are still there, as are storages of different residues. Isolation material is falling down and spreading.[4] The area around the plant was used as a dumping area for hazardous chemicals. In 1982 tubewells in the vicinity of the UCC factory had to be abandoned.[4] UCC's laboratory tests in 1989 revealed that soil and water samples collected from near the factory and inside the plant were toxic to fish.[45]. Reported polluting compounds are, among others, naphthol, naphthalene, Sevin, tarry residue, mercury, toxic organochlorines, volatile organochlorine compounds, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, hexachloroethane, hexachlorobutadiene, pesticide HCH and halo-organics[clarification needed]. It is plausible that these chemicals have some negative health effects on those exposed, but there is no scientific evidence.[4] In order to provide safe drinking water to the population around the UCC factory, there is a scheme for improvement of water supply.[40] In December 2008, the Madhya Pradesh High Court decided that the toxic waste should be incinerated at Ankleshwar in Gujarat.[46]

Safety and equipment issues The corporation denies the claim that the valves on the tank were malfunctioning, claiming that "documented evidence gathered after the incident showed that the valve close to the plant's water-washing operation was closed and leak-tight. Furthermore, process safety systemsin place and operationalwould have prevented

water from entering the tank by accident". Carbide states that the safety concerns identified in 1982 were all allayed before 1984 and "none of them had anything to do with the incident".[49] The company admits that "the safety systems in place could not have prevented a chemical reaction of this magnitude from causing a leak". According to Carbide, "in designing the plant's safety systems, a chemical reaction of this magnitude was not factored in" because "the tank's gas storage system was designed to automatically prevent such a large amount of water from being inadvertently introduced into the system" and "process safety systemsin place and operationalwould have prevented water from entering the tank by accident". Instead, they claim that "employee sabotagenot faulty design or operationwas the cause of the tragedy".[49] What did Union Carbide do to assist Bhopal victims after the gas leak? In 1989, Union Carbide and UCIL entered into a $470 million legal settlement with the Indian Government that settled all claims arising from the incident. The settlement was affirmed by the Indian Supreme Court, which described it as "just, equitable and reasonable." The money was promptly paid to the Government of India by Union Carbide and UCIL. What has Madhya Pradesh Government done for Gas Tragedy victims? The Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation was set up by the Madhya Pradesh Government on August 29, 1985, in view of the long term medical, social, economic and environmental relief and rehabilitation needs of the survivors of the disaster. In the last 16 years the department has spent well over Rs. 400 crores. Of this about Rs. 200 crores have been spent on medical relief, Rs. 60 crores on economic rehabilitation, Rs. 70 crores on social rehabilitation and Rs. 70 crores on environmental rehabilitation. But above all, the efforts of Madhya Pradesh government did not bring any benefit for Gas victims. 800 crores of rupees spent by state government did not give any positive result that might be due to corruption in Gas relief department or irresponsible attitude of state government. PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS Perhaps because of the enormity of the event, many people, even those only peripherally involved, tended to remember in detail and with great clarity the sequence of events of that night. Nevertheless, people experienced the event in different ways, thus yielding, for example, varying estimates of the duration of the actual release. The tendency of plant workers to omit facts or distort evidence was also clearly evident after the Bhopal incident, making the collection of evidence a time-consuming process. In investigating any incident in which facts seem to have been omitted or distorted, it is necessary to examine the motives of those involved. The story that had been initially told by the workers was a preferable one from their perspective, because it exonerated everyone, except perhaps the supervisor. According to this version, the reaction happened instantaneously; there was no time to take preventive or remedial measures, and there was no known cause. Without a cause, no blame could be established. Because critical facts were being deliberately omitted and distorted, the investigation team had to continually review and reanalyze each new piece of evidence and to assess its consistency and veracity with hard evidence and known facts. Ultimately, several firm pieces of evidence came to light -- evidence that simply did not fit the story told initially by the workers, and that eventually led to the conclusion that a direct water connection had been found by the workers, but had been covered up.

The judgement
The judgement on Bhopal Gas tragedy, one of the most horrific industrial disaster which killed thousands of people, would be pronounced on Monday.Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Mohan P Tiwari will pronounce the judgement. During the trial, a total of 178 prosecution witnesses were examined and 3008 documents were produced while eight defence witnesses deposed in the court.

Out of the nine accused tried for the offences, R B Roy Choudhary, then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial. The remaining eight accused are Keshub Mahendra, Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Quershi. In the early hours of December 3, 1984, around 40 metric tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by wind to surrounding slums. The government says around 3,500 died in the disaster. Rights activists, however, claim that 25,000 people have died so far.

Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) was established in 1934, when Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) became one of the first U.S. companies to invest in India. UCIL shares were publicly traded on the Calcutta Stock Exchange. UCIL was a diversified manufacturing company, employing approximately 9,000 people and operating 14 plants in five divisions. The Bhopal plant was built in the late 1970's and was owned and operated by UCIL, an Indian company in which Union Carbide held just over half of the stock. Indian financial institutions and thousands of private investors in India owned the remainder of the stock. The plant produced pesticides for use in India to help the countrys agricultural sector increase its productivity and contribute more significantly to meeting the food needs of one of the world's most heavily populated regions. 1984 Dec 3 The Bhopal Gas Tragedy Shortly after midnight, methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaks from a tank at the UCIL Bhopal plant. According to the state government of Madhya Pradesh, approximately 3,800 people die and several thousand other individuals experience permanent and partial disabilities. Dec 4 Immediate Action Word of the disaster is received at Union Carbide headquarters in Connecticut. Chairman and CEO Warren Anderson, together with a technical team, depart to India to assist the government in dealing with the incident. Upon arrival, Anderson is placed under house arrest and urged by the Indian government to leave the country within 24 hours. Union Carbide organizes a team of international medical experts, as well as supplies and equipment, to work with the local Bhopal medical community. The UCC technical team begins assessing the cause of the gas leak. Dec 14 Warren Anderson testifies before Congress. He stresses UCC commitment to safety and promises to take actions to ensure that a similar incident cannot happen again. 1985 Feb Interim Relief Union Carbide establishes a fund for victims of the tragedy -- the (UCC) Employees' Bhopal Relief Fund -- that collects more than $120,000. UCC sends more medical equipment to Bhopal. Mar Study Launched UCC launches a disaster program to study the effects of over-exposure to MIC. Bhopal Gas Leak Act Government of India (GOI) enacts the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act that enables the GOI to act as the legal representative of the victims in claims arising of or related to the Bhopal disaster. Cause of the Incident UCC Technical team reports that a large volume of water was introduced into the MIC tank and triggered a reaction that resulted in the gas release. Independently, a committee of experts for the Indian government arrives at the same conclusion. Union Carbide Offers $7 Million Interim Relief UCC offers $5 million in relief for victims before the U.S. District Court, bringing the total to date to $7 million.


Government of India Rejects Union Carbide Relief Government of India rejects UCC offers of aid for Bhopal victims. June Additional Aid UCC funds participation of Indian medical experts in meetings to obtain information and the latest

July 1986 Jan

medical treatment techniques for victims. Additional Analysis Core samples confirm that water triggered the reaction, which led to the gas release. Union Carbide Funds Hospital Union Carbide offers $10 million to the Indian government for building a hospital to aid the victims in Bhopal. Union Carbide Proposes $350 Million as Settlement for Victims and Families Union Carbide proposes a settlement amount of $350 million that will generate a fund for Bhopal victims of between $500-600 million over 20 years. Plaintiffs U.S. attorneys endorse amount. Bhopal Litigation Transferred to India U.S. District Court Judge transfers all Bhopal litigation to India. Decision is appealed. U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Transfer of Litigation to India The court rules that UCIL is a separate entity, owned, managed and operated exclusively by Indian citizens in India. Government of India Closes Vocational Technical Center The Government of India closes and razes the Bhopal Technical and Vocational Training Center built by Arizona State University after determining that Union Carbide Corporation supplied funds for the project. Union Carbide Announces Humanitarian Relief Union Carbide offers an additional $4.6 million in humanitarian interim relief for immediate rehabilitation of Bhopal victims.


May 1987 Jan



1988 Jan Litigation in India Dec Throughout 1988, arguments and appeals take place before the Indian Courts regarding compensation for the victims. In November, the Supreme Court of India asks the Government of India and UCC to reach a settlement, and tells both sides to start with a clean slate. May New Evidence on Causation Independent investigation by the engineering and consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc., concludes that the gas leak could only have been caused by sabotage; someone intentionally connected a water hose to the gas storage tank and caused a massive chemical reaction. 1989 Feb Final Settlement at $470 Million The Supreme Court of India directs a final settlement of all Bhopal litigation in the amount of $470 million, to be paid by March 31, 1989. Both the Government of India and Union Carbide accept the court's direction. UCC pays $420 million; UCIL pays the rupee equivalent of $50 million (including $5 million of interim relief previously paid). Union Carbide Makes Full Payment Within 10 days of the order, UCC and UCIL make full payment of the $470 million to the Government of India. Supreme Court of India Renders Opinion The Supreme Court, in a lengthy opinion, explains the rationale for the settlement and emphasizes that the compensation levels provided for in the settlement are substantially higher than those ordinarily payable under Indian law. Government of India To Act on Behalf of Victims The Supreme Court upholds the validity of the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act of 1985 that authorized the Government of India to act on behalf of the Bhopal gas leak victims.



1990 Jan Supreme Court of India Proceedings Aim to Overturn Settlement Dec Hearings are held throughout year on activist petitions to overturn the settlement agreement. Nov State Government Prepares List of Victims To Be Compensated The State Government of Madhya Pradesh submits to the Supreme Court of India the completed categorization of the claims of all of the victims. The State determines that, in addition to the victims who suffered various levels of disabilities, the incident resulted in 3,828 deaths. Dec Supreme Court Hearings Conclude Court concludes review of petitions seeking to overturn settlement. 1991 Oct Supreme Court Confirms the Settlement and Closes Legal Proceedings The Supreme Court of India upholds the civil settlement of $470 million in its entirety and sets aside portion of settlement that quashed criminal prosecutions that were pending at the time of settlement. The Court also:

Requires Government of India to purchase, out of the settlement fund, a group medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 persons who may later develop symptoms; Requires Government of India to make up any shortfall, however unlikely, in settlement fund; Gives directions concerning the administration of settlement fund; Dismisses all outstanding petitions seeking review of settlement; and Requests UCC and UCIL to voluntarily fund capital and operating costs of a hospital in Bhopal for eight years, estimated at approximately $17 million, to be built on land donated by the state government.

UCC and UCIL agree to fund the hospital, as requested. 1992 Apr Union Carbide Sets Up Trust Fund UCC announces plans to sell its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL. UCC establishes charitable trust to ensure its share of the funding to build a hospital in Bhopal and fund operations for up to eight years. 1993 Oct U.S. Supreme Court Denies Hearing on Legal Standing The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear appeal of lower court, thereby affirming that Bhopal victims may not sue for damages in U.S. courts.

1994 Apr

Union Carbide To Sell Stake in Union Carbide India Limited Supreme Court of India allows UCC to sell all its shares in UCIL so that assets can be used to build Bhopal hospital. Nov Union Carbide Completes Sale UCC completes the sale of its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL to McLeod Russell (India) Ltd. of Calcutta. Dec Union Carbide Fulfills Initial Commitment UCC provides initial $20 million to charitable trust for Bhopal hospital. 1995-1999 Charitable Trust Builds Hospital Hospital charitable trust begins facility construction in October 1995. UCC provides approximately $90 million from the sale of all its UCIL stock. By 1999, the trust has $100 million. Building is completed and physicians and medical staff are being selected. The hospital will have facilities for the treatment of eye, lung and heart problems. 2001 Hospital Opens to the Public

The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, funded largely by proceeds from UCC sale of all its UCIL stock, begins treating patients. 2004 July Supreme Court of India Orders Release of Remaining Settlement Funds to Victims Fifteen years after reaching settlement, the Supreme Court of India orders the Government of India to release all additional settlement funds to the victims. News reports indicate that there is approximately $327 million in the fund as a result of earned interest from money remaining after all claims had been paid. Supreme Court of India Extends Deadline for Release of Remaining Settlement Funds The Supreme Court of India grants a request from the Welfare Commission for Bhopal Gas Victims and extends to April 30, 2006, the distribution of the rest of the settlement funds by the Welfare Commission. News reports indicate that approximately $390 million remains in the fund as a result of earned interest. Court Dismisses 2 Claims in Janki Bai Sahu Case U.S. Federal District Court dismisses two of three claims in Janki Bai Sahu case; this is, damages for alleged personal injuries from exposure to contaminated water and remediation of the former UCIL plant site. (See Nov. 2006 for information on third claim.) Case originally was filed in November 2004. U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of 8-Year-Old Bano Case The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upholds the dismissal of the remaining claims in the case of Bano vs. Union Carbide Corporation, thereby denying plaintiffs motions for class certification and claims for property damages and remediation of the Bhopal plant site by Union Carbide. The ruling reaffirms UCCs long-held positions and finally puts to rest -- both procedurally and substantively the issues raised in the class action complaint first filed against Union Carbide in 1999 by Haseena Bi and several organizations representing the residents of Bhopal, India. Bhopal Welfare Commission Reports All Initial Compensation Claims and Revised Petitions Cleared India media report states the registrar in the office of Welfare Commissioner... said that all cases of initial compensation claims by victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy have been cleared. With clearance of initial compensation claims and revision petitions, no case is pending. Madhya Pradesh State Government To Prepare Drinking Water, Healthcare, Environmental Rehabilitation Plan Indian media report says the state government of Madhya Pradesh will chalk out an action plan in the next two months for providing drinking water, adequate healthcare and economic and environmental rehabilitation to survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy. U.S. Federal District Court Dismisses Last Claim in Sahu Case Federal District Court dismisses remaining claim in Janki Bai Sahu case, which sought to hold UCC liable for the acts of UCIL. Case originally was filed in November 2004. Two other claims associated with the case were dismissed in December 2005. Appeal Filed in Janki Bai Sahu Case Plaintiffs file appeal in the case before Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Awaiting date for oral arguments. New Class Action Lawsuit Filed in New York Federal Court Jagarnath Sahu et al v. UCC and Warren Anderson seeks damages to clean up six individual properties allegedly polluted by contaminants from the Bhopal plant, as well as the remediation of property in 16 colonies adjoining the plant. Suit has been stayed pending resolution of appeal in Janki Bai Sahu case. This new suit may be dismissed if the Court of Appeals affirms the decision of the District Court in the pending appeal of the Janki Bai Sahu case. Arguments Heard in Janki Bai Sahu Appeals Case The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York hears oral arguments in Janki Bai Sahu appeals case. Original case filed in November 2004. Two claims associated with case were dismissed in

2005 Apr


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2007 Mar

2008 May


December 2005 and the last remaining claim was dismissed in November 2006. Sahu Appeals Case Remanded to District Court for Further Limited Activity Second Circuit Court of Appeals sends back the Janki Bai Sahu case to the U.S. District Court in Manhattan for limited further activity based strictly on procedural grounds. The Second Circuit did not discuss the merits of the case or the merits of the trial judge's ruling of dismissal. Court Rejects Mediation Request in Janki Bai Sahu Case U.S. Federal District Court in New York declines to order mediation in the Janki Bai Sahu case as requested by plaintiffs. The ruling affirms Union Carbides position that after years of court proceedings, this case in now in its final stages and, given the time commitments already made the courts, the Sahu case should complete its course through the courts.

2009 Feb

2010 June 7 On, eight UCIL executives including former chairman Keshub Mahindra were convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to two years in jail. The sentences are under appeal.[90] June On, the Union Cabinet of the Government of India approved a Rs1265cr aid package. It will be funded 24 by the Indian government.

By their nature, large-magnitude incidents present unique problems for investigators. In the case of the Bhopal incident, these problems were compounded by the constraints placed on the Union Carbide investigation team by the Indian Government and, most significantly, by the prohibition of interviews of plant employees for over a year. Had those constraints not been imposed, the actual cause of the incident would have been determined within several months. Because the investigation was blocked, a popular explanation arose in the media as to the cause of the tragedy. A thorough investigation, which included scores of in-depth witness interviews, a review of thousands of plant logs, tests of valving and piping, hundreds of scientific experiments, and examinations of the plant and its equipment, was ultimately conducted over a year later. That investigation has established that the incident was not caused in the manner popularly reported, but rather was the result of a direct water connection to the tank. Over two decades since the tragedy, certain civil and criminal cases remain pending in the United States District Court, Manhattan and the District Court of Bhopal, India, against Union Carbide with an Indian arrest warrant also pending against Warren Anderson, CEO of Union Carbide at the time of the disaster.[9][10] Greenpeace asserts that as the Union Carbide CEO, Anderson knew about a 1982 safety audit of the Bhopal plant, which identified 30 major hazards and that they were not fixed in Bhopal but were fixed at the company's identical plant in the US. In June 2010, seven ex-employees, including the former chairman of UCIL, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by law. An eighth former employee was also convicted but had died before judgment was passed.