Bhopal faces risk of ‘poisoning’: BBC

BY PAUL VICKERS, BBC

Thousand of Indians around Bhopal remain at risk of poisoning 20 years after a major disaster in the city, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.

Four thousand people died after a gas leak at a pesticide factory owned by US company Union Carbide in 1984.

Union Carbide India Limited was responsible for cleaning up the site.

But thousands of tonnes of toxic waste are still stored around the plant in inadequate conditions, so chemicals leak into the town’s water supply.

We took a sample of drinking water from a well near the site.

It had levels of contamination 500 times higher than the maximum limits recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The local people who drink this water every day are exposing themselves to a substantial chemical hazard associated, over time, with liver and kidney damage.

Union Carbide disputes the test results and says there was no evidence of ground water contamination outside the plant when they handed the site back to the state government in 1998.

Listen out for Paul Vickers’ report on BBC Radio 5 Live today at 11am Greenwich Mean Time.

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