Bhopal Victims Lobby Congress

"WASHINGTON -- Victims of the 1984 gas leak that killed thousands of people in Bhopal, India took their battle Thursday to the US Congress, seeking pressure on Dow Chemicals.

Three Bhopal residents spent the week lobbying lawmakers, urging them to hold a hearing on the world's deadliest industrial accident ahead of its 25th anniversary in December.

"Dow is not listening to the Indian government; Dow is not listening to us...." said campaigner Rachna Dhingra.

The tragedy occurred when a storage tank at a pesticide plant run by Union Carbide -- bought by Dow Chemicals in 1999 -- spewed [methyl isocyanate] gas into the air in Bhopal, immediately killing more than 3,500 slum dwellers.

The death toll has since climbed to more than 15,000, according to Indian authorities. But activists say the toll is twice that and that tens of thousands more are chronically ill due to toxic water and leftover chemicals."

AFP had the story May 7, 2009.

Friday, May 8, 2009