Disasters: The Burned And the Buried

The Burned And the Buried

Nearly three years after that deadly night when a toxic cloud leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, causing history's biggest industrial accident, a new book alleges that the tragedy may have been even more gruesome than assumed. The Indian government has said 2,700 people died at Bhopal. But in A Killing Wind (McGraw-Hill; 297 pages; $19.95), Author Dan Kurzman asserts that the death toll was at least 8,000. He speculates that Indian officials understated the figures in part to "keep the political shock waves under control."

Basing his estimate on interviews and private records, Kurzman writes that...