Ex-Union Carbide boss wanted by Indian court

Original source:

An Indian court has issued a new arrest warrant for the man who ran Union Carbide at the time of the horrific 1984 factory gas leak in Bhopal.

On Friday, in response to a recent appeal by a victims' group, Bhopal chief judicial magistrate Prakash Mohan Tiwari ordered the arrest of former chief executive Warren Anderson and called on India's government to press Washington for his extradition.

Victims and civil rights activists who gathered outside the court cheered at the news of the order.

They threw slippers at an effigy of Mr Anderson and hit it with brooms as they danced in the streets.

Mr Anderson had been arrested in India just after the disaster, but fled the country and now resides in the swanky Hamptons neighbourhood in New York.

He was CEO of Union Carbide, now owned by Dow Chemical Co, when 42 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas leaked from the factory on December 3 1984, killing at least 10,000 within 72 hours.

More than 555,000 people who survived the initial disaster are thought to have suffered after-effects, though the exact number of victims has never been determined.

Many have died over the years from gas-related illnesses like lung cancer, kidney failure and liver disease.

In 1989, Union Carbide paid $470 million (£278 million) in compensation to the Indian government and said that company officials were responsible for the cleanup.

Victims accuse New Delhi of delaying distribution of the funds.

Dow maintains that the 1989 settlement resolved the legal case.