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Union Carbide Executives Convicted in Bhopal Gas Leak

Eight Indian officials were convicted Monday of causing death by negligence, 25 years after a devastating gas leak in a pesticide factory in Bhopal India.

Union Carbide India Ltd. released 40 tons of a toxin called methyl isocyanate in 1984. Litigation stalled five years after the leak when India and Union Carbide agreed to a $470 million settlement. At the time, Union Carbide India Ltd. was majority-owned by the U.S.-based Union Carbide Corp. This lethal gas emission killed more than 3,000 people within the first few days and 15,000 in the following years.

The convicted include: Keshub Mahindra, the chairman of the Indian arm of Union Carbide; VP Gokhale, managing director; Kishore Kamdar, vice president; J Mukund, works manager; SP Chowdhury, production manager; KV Shetty, plant superintendent; and SI Qureshi, production assistant. The 8th defendant has since died. Each faces a maximum prison term of two years.

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Chelsea Hennessy

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