CEO blamed for Bhopal gas disaster dies

Records show Warren Anderson, wanted over gas leak which killed thousands in Indian city in 1984, died in US last month.

Anderson escaped attempts to bring him to trial although other local executives were convicted [File: AP]

Warren Anderson, the chairman and chief executive of the US company blamed for the 1984 poisonous gas leak that killed thousands of people in the Indian city of Bhopal, died in a nursing home on September 29, according to public records.

The New York Times reported that his family did not announce his death in the southern US state Florida but that the information had come to light from US public records.

Anderson was a wanted man in India for his role as head of the Union Carbide Corporation, the company whose pesticide plant in Bhopal, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, experienced a gas leak on the night of December 2 to 3 in 1984.

At least 3,787 people were killed during December according to the state government but unofficial estimates place that number higher than 5,000.

Many more died of long-term illnesses from an incident widely regarded as one of the world’s worst industrial accidents.

Shortly after the incident, Anderson visited Bhopal and was arrested, but was released after paying bail.

Anderson escaped attempts to bring him to trial although other local executives were convicted.

Survivors of the gas leak protesting on the eve of the 29th anniversary of the gas tragedy in 2013 [File: EPA]

The local India newspaper The Hindusaid the Indian government had made multiple attempts to extradite him.

Activists like Satinath Sarangi, founder of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, have campaigned for years for the survivors of the tragedy. 

Sarangi said the news of Anderson’s death would not bring solace to the victims.

“They feel it is a matter of great shame that this worst corporate criminal in history should have died in shackles, he should have been in bars,” he told Al Jazeera from Bhopal.

“The US government has been protecting this corporate criminal for the last 22 years.

“The next generation is also marked by Carbide’s poisons. Tens of thousands of children have growth and development disorders.”

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies