Chemical Executives Guilty in Bhopal Disaster


Twenty six years after a Union Carbide plant leaked a toxic gas known as MIC that killed at least 3,500 in Bhopal, India eight executives of the Indian subsidiary responsible have been convicted of negligence. Each executive was sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of $2,100. The verdict has immediately drawn criticism from activists and victim groups who felt the sentence was not enough.
The disaster was featured in the 1991 Appalshop documentary “Chemical Valley” by Mimi Pickering and Anne Lewis. Chemical Valley begins with the Bhopal disaster and then tells the story of Institute, West Virginia, and the site of the only Union Carbide plant in the United States that manufactured MIC. Chemical Valley documents the international attention the disaster brought on the predominantly African-American community of Institute and the immediate response in the Kanawha Valley, an area once dubbed by residents “the chemical capital of the world” because of the many plants operating there. The program then follows events in the valley over the next five years as lines are drawn and all sides heard in the debate between those who fear for their livelihood and those who fear for their lives. Chemical Valley explores issues of job blackmail, racism, and citizens’ right to know and to act as it documents one community’s struggle to make accountable an industry that has all too often forced communities to choose between safety and jobs. For information on how you can order a copy of the documentary visit: