Survivors of the Bhopal tragedy have been venting their anger on the 30th anniversary of the world’s worst industrial disaster when a factory owned by US giant Union Carbide accidentally leaked cyanide gas, killing thousands in the Indian city.
Victims say the US and Indian governments and the Dow Chemical Company, which now owns Union Carbide, have not done enough.
“If the parties responsible for the continuing disasters in Bhopal acknowledge and accept their roles in this human suffering continuing here, and they correct themselves, then it is possible that this disaster will end in the fourth decade,” said Satinath Sarangi, founder of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.
More than 5,000 deaths were recorded but activists estimate 25,000 people have died from illnesses since the leak. They say many still suffer from cancer, blindness and other problems.
Victim Sarjo Bai, 80, who lost her daughter and subsequently her husband to the poisonous gas, can never forget the events of December 3, 1984.
“There was such a strong burning sensation that the smoke felt as if somebody had put red chillies in your eyes. It was very difficult to breath and hands, feet – everything was burning,” she said
Complete with a portrayal of Warren Anderson, chairman of Union Carbide when the accident occurred, a new film tells the story of Bhopal.
Actor Martin Sheen plays the role in Ravi Kumar’s ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’.