The UCC plant at Bhopal in the centre of India stank too

The Union Carbide plant at Bhopal in the centre of India stank too. One year after Ground Zero I was standing in the wretched, weed-entangled wreckage of the chemical factory where in 1984 eight thousand Indian workers and people living nearby had died in the three hours following a devastating gas explosion.

In the course of a season of reports from India, I had returned to the Bhopal plant eighteen years after the blast to see what had been done. What I found was a shocking, still-pungent pile that continued to pollute the local water and to exude a continuous and nauseating stench. The place was wired off from public access, but people lived right up against the fence, and children played in puddles of dark brown contaminated water. The contrast with New York was stark: those rescue crews achieved more in clearing Ground Zero in eighteen weeks than an American multinational had achieved here in Bhopal in eighteen years. Here sat the central injustice. The lone superpower, contorted in grief for its own loss, was either oblivious or worse when it came to American-inflicted suffering in the developing world.

Source: Shooting History by Jon Snow

Girl with candle Bhopal

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