Tuesday 13 July 2010

A tale of two disasters - BP and BhoPal

BP has just put a new cap on its leaking oil well in the Gulf Of Mexico. It’s not clear yet whether this latest attempt to halt the flow of oil will work. The US government has been uncompromising in its punishment of BP. The clean-up has cost the company $3.5bn so far, and the Obama administration has forced it to set aside another $20bn to pay for further clean-up, compensation and other costs.

When an American company is the guilty party, though, US attitudes are rather different. Yesterday, protestors in India demanded the extradition from America of Warren Anderson. Mr Anderson was the boss of US company Union Carbide when cyanide gas leaked from its plant in Bhopal in 1984, and the Indian authorities have a warrant out for his arrest. The US has resisted all their efforts.

While the BP accident killed 11 people, Bhopal cost the lives of at least 3,800 in the immediate aftermath, while up to 20,000 more may have perished since, and perhaps another 120,000 are still suffering ill effects – making this probably the deadliest industrial accident in history.

So how many billions in compensation did Union Carbide pay? Er, no billions actually - just $470 million.

(See also my blogs of June 9 and Aug 1, 2009; March 17, April 24, May 1, June 7 and 9, 2010.)


  1. I started to write a reply to this and it's er... gone. Oh well, that'll teach me to try and look up stuff. So, yes, the calculation. Go on, to recompense the Indian victims to the same degree. Surely they'd be close to bankrupting the Land of the Free. But properly this time...

    1. Bhopal is known for its two beautiful manmade lakes that are named only as Upper Lake and Lower Lake. The huge Upper Lake was built by Raja Bhoj as it cured him of an incurable skin disease while the Lower Lake was built during the Mughal era. You can enjoy boating and other water activities on these serene lakes with your family. Hotel Surya is one of the best Bhopal hotels and is located in the heart of the city, very close to the railway station. Its easy accessibility makes it quite popular among travelers and tourists alike. You can find more such quality Bhopal hotels at hotelpushpak.com that has a good collection.

  2. Looks as tho the boss of the Fed Reserve thinks the US is doing a v good job of bankrupting itself without any outside help:-
    Re compensation - see also my blogs of July 18 and today.

  3. thank you sushantap. hope the tourist industry is helping Bhopal recover