Environment: What Happened At Bhopal

Union Carbide blames the tragedy on mishaps and oversights

After poisonous vapors spewed from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, last December, killing some 2,000 people and injuring another 200,000, Chairman Warren Anderson flew halfway around the world to make a dramatic appearance at the site, promising to find out what had gone wrong. Last week, at a press briefing near the company's Danbury, Conn., headquarters, he made good his promise. The world's worst industrial accident had been caused, he said, by gross violations of established safety procedures. "That plant," Anderson declared, "should not have been operating."

Union Carbide's investigation in Bhopal focused on a partially buried tank...

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