New book more than tragedy retold: Lapierre
Hindustan Times Bhopal Live Friday, January 26, 2001
Dominique Lapierre called Bhopal Gas Tragedy "an accident due to incompetence." Talking to the Hindustan Times about his new coming book, Midnight in Bhopal, the French write added that he wanted to put Bhopal on the world map for reasons other than the tragic incident which killed thousands of people.

This is a city of rich cultural heritage, arts, with intelligent people around", he said. However, he said, "I am not happy that I took 48 years to discover Bhopal, that too through the tragedy."

When asked about whether the book was a fiction or half-truth and half-fiction, Lapierre said, "It is a true story. It is the result of three years of research."

When asked what is new in the book, Lapierre said, "This is an epic story of many gas victims. The Union Carbide had lost interest in the plant before the tragedy occurred. We found out that even corroded pipes  were not changed. In fact there was a plan to sell the plant and to transfer it to Indonesia and Brazil," he said.

"There was an equipment showing the wind direction on top of the Carbide factory. Why the equipment worth only Rs 400 was not installed in the slums around the plant," he asked?

He said many people died since they ran in the direction (sic) of the plant. They were clueless about the direction of the wind. There had been many incidents to prove that the tragedy was in the making.

He also wondered about how no-one from the plant got injured in the mishap.

Lapierre said the idea of writing the book came to his mind when he visited the city in 1997 for starting the humanitarian work. "I fell in love with the city instantly and then came the idea of writing a book."

He said the French and Spanish editions of Midnight in Bhopal would be released in Paris, Barcelona and Madrid on March 15.

The English edition would come out next year, he said.