05 Profit before people

From Sathyu’s Introduction to Bhopal for Young People

The effect of all this cost cutting soon began to show. Many workers were exposed to dangerous gases and had to be hospitalised, and in December 1981 one Mr Ashraf was killed when he was exposed to phosgene. The managers of the Bhopal factory sent the reports of injury and deaths of workers to the headquarters of the Union Carbide Corporation in Danbury, Connecticut. In May 1982, the top officials from Danbury sent a team of engineers to Bhopal to see what was wrong in the Bhopal factory. This team found that there were at least 30 areas in the factory where a major disaster could occur. Eleven of the hazardous areas were in the part of the factory where the very poisonous chemical methyl isocyanate was produced and stored. However, the bosses of Union Carbide Corporation did nothing about these hazards and made sure that no one in the Bhopal factory found out about the report that the engineers from Charleston had prepared. Repeated complaints by workers about the dangerous working conditions were ignored by the management.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.