2014-12-03 12:47:00

The Bhopal disaster thirty years on

(Vatican Radio) India is marking the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster. Hundreds of survivors of the gas leak commemorated the day by protesting for tougher punishments for those responsible. The also called for more compensation for the victims of the world's worst industrial disaster.

On Dec. 3, 1984, a pesticide plant run by Union Carbide leaked about 40 tons of poisonous gas into the air of Bhopal.

4,000 people were killed, however according to the Indian government the effects of the poison raised the death toll to about 15,000 over the next few years. It also says that at least 500,000 people were affected.

Listen to Lydia O'Kane's interview with Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, India.

Today, thirty years on from these tragic events many lives are still being affected, they include children with birth and congenital defects because of their parents' exposure to the gas or water contaminated by the leak.

The Church continues its relief activities aiding those still suffering from the damage caused by the accident as the Archbishop of Bhopel, Leo Cornelio explained to Vatican Radio.

“… there are four centres for the training of children… some have different defects, defects of speech, defects of breathing… there are hundreds of children in these four centres…

The Archbishop points out that the tragedy has been politicized and that the people have  really been affected have not given the relief they need or been fully compensated.

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