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20 Years after Tragedy in India, New Report Accuses US Compa

时间:2005-05-24 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:ttictt   字体: [ ]


In the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, deadly gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide1 factory in Bhopal, India. The accident would result in the worst industrial disaster of the 20th century.  As many as 7,000 people died that day. Tens of thousands more were poisoned by the toxic2 cloud of methyl isocyanate fumes3 that blanketed the city. In subsequent years, many of those people died or suffered from the lingering side effects of the chemical leak.
The human rights group Amnesty International has marked the 20th anniversary of the disaster by releasing a report titled Clouds of Injustice4. The report calls on Dow Chemical Company -- the owner of the Bhopal facility since 2001 - and the Indian government to clean up the site and fairly compensate5 the victims. Amnesty also proposes bringing the U.S. company before Indian courts. 
Bhopal has never fully6 recovered from the disaster. The abandoned pesticide factory is still contaminated by toxic waste. Health experts say local water supplies remain unsafe to drink, and people in the area continue to be sickened by the lingering chemical poisons. 150,000 people have been afflicted7 with health problems related to chemical exposure, including cancer, kidney disease, and mental illness.
"We have been able to document pretty extensively the widespread environmental contamination of the subsurface groundwater in the Bhopal area that affects at least 16 residential8 communities that we are aware of," says Attorney Rajan Sharma, who has represented Bhopal survivors9 since 1999 in lawsuits11 against the chemical company. The problem, he says, "emanates12 from an abandoned Bhopal plant where thousands of metric tons of toxic waste continue to be stored above ground, as well as a poorly secured landfill that was built on the plant campus."
The Amnesty report says that, before the Bhopal accident 20 years ago, Union Carbide -- now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical -- failed to establish an emergency plan and ignored safety warnings. and things information critical to the medical treatment of victims. The report says that, Amnesty argues that Union Carbide/Dow must assume liability for the Bhopal disaster. 
Executives of Union Carbide/Dow declined to respond to direct questions from reporters. But, in a company-produced audio statement, Dow spokesman Tom Sprick said his firm disclaims13 responsibility for the Bhopal disaster and its aftermath. "The plant was managed and run by Union Carbide," he said, "and managed and run by Union Carbide India Limited, a company owned by Union Carbide, Indian financial institutions and private investors14. Union Carbide India Limited spent more than two million dollars on clean-up activities at the site up and through 1994. In 1998, the Madhyra Pradesh state government took control of the site and assumed all future responsibilities for the clean-up."
In 1989, Union Carbide and Union Carbide India entered into a $470 million negotiated settlement, which Mr. Sprick says was affirmed by the Indian Supreme15 Court as "just, equitable16 and reasonable."
But critics of the settlement say the Indian government failed to consult Bhopal victims before accepting the compensation package.  Survivors received an average of $500. The author of the report by Amnesty International, Vijay Nagaraj, says that sum has brought little relief. "Basically it is about survivors and victims standing17 in long lines in hospitals," he says, "where, after the wait of several hours, they are handed pills of different colors with very little explanation as to what this is going to do to them. Most of the time it does very little other than to relieve some symptoms temporarily. And it means also slipping into a cycle of poverty because of indebtedness [for] private health care." 
The Bhopal legacy18 is also a concern of environmental activists19 like Rick Hind20, who heads the Toxins21 Campaign for the group Greenpeace. He alleges22 that the disaster is an example of environmental racism23. "Had this happened in the United States," he says, "there is no doubt that Dow Chemical would be paying for the cleanup that would be ordered by the E.P.A. [the federal Environmental Protection Agency] or through litigation by community folks." 
Mr. Hind says the U.S. corporation is taking advantage of the differences between countries. "Dow really at their own peril24 resists this liability," he says. "Responsible stockholders should remind them that we don't want to pay for the extensive contamination that will occur five or ten years from now when and if this litigation is dragged out any further. Every day it is delayed the contamination and the suffering of the people becomes worse."
In 2003, the Indian government unsuccessfully sought the extradition25 of Dow's chief executive on charges of culpable26 homicide. A class action lawsuit10 is still pending27 against Union Carbide. The Amnesty International report calls on Union Carbide/Dow to face trial in Bhopal.  It also recommends that international companies adopt universal plant and worker safety rules to guard against future disasters like Bhopal.
pesticide 农药
toxic 有毒的
methyl isocyanate [化] 异氰酸甲酯
lingering 逗留不去的
amnesty  赦免
compensate 赔偿
contaminated 污染
afflict 使痛苦
kidney 肾
extensive 范围广泛的
subsurface 表面下的
emanate from 散发
liability 责任
symptom 症状
litigation 诉讼
extradite 使(逃犯等)被引渡
culpable 应受谴责的
homicide 杀人犯


1 pesticide OMlxV     
  • The pesticide was spread over the vegetable plot.菜田里撒上了农药。
  • This pesticide is diluted with water and applied directly to the fields.这种杀虫剂用水稀释后直接施用在田里。
2 toxic inSwc     
  • The factory had accidentally released a quantity of toxic waste into the sea.这家工厂意外泄漏大量有毒废物到海中。
  • There is a risk that toxic chemicals might be blasted into the atmosphere.爆炸后有毒化学物质可能会进入大气层。
3 fumes lsYz3Q     
  • The health of our children is being endangered by exhaust fumes. 我们孩子们的健康正受到排放出的废气的损害。
  • Exhaust fumes are bad for your health. 废气对健康有害。
4 injustice O45yL     
  • They complained of injustice in the way they had been treated.他们抱怨受到不公平的对待。
  • All his life he has been struggling against injustice.他一生都在与不公正现象作斗争。
5 compensate AXky7     
vt.补偿,赔偿;酬报 vi.弥补;补偿;抵消
  • She used her good looks to compensate her lack of intelligence. 她利用她漂亮的外表来弥补智力的不足。
  • Nothing can compensate for the loss of one's health. 一个人失去了键康是不可弥补的。
6 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
7 afflicted aaf4adfe86f9ab55b4275dae2a2e305a     
使受痛苦,折磨( afflict的过去式和过去分词 )
  • About 40% of the country's population is afflicted with the disease. 全国40%左右的人口患有这种疾病。
  • A terrible restlessness that was like to hunger afflicted Martin Eden. 一阵可怕的、跟饥饿差不多的不安情绪折磨着马丁·伊登。
8 residential kkrzY3     
  • The mayor inspected the residential section of the city.市长视察了该市的住宅区。
  • The residential blocks were integrated with the rest of the college.住宿区与学院其他部分结合在了一起。
9 survivors 02ddbdca4c6dba0b46d9d823ed2b4b62     
幸存者,残存者,生还者( survivor的名词复数 )
  • The survivors were adrift in a lifeboat for six days. 幸存者在救生艇上漂流了六天。
  • survivors clinging to a raft 紧紧抓住救生筏的幸存者
10 lawsuit A14xy     
  • They threatened him with a lawsuit.他们以诉讼威逼他。
  • He was perpetually involving himself in this long lawsuit.他使自己无休止地卷入这场长时间的诉讼。
11 lawsuits 1878e62a5ca1482cc4ae9e93dcf74d69     
n.诉讼( lawsuit的名词复数 )
  • Lawsuits involving property rights and farming and grazing rights increased markedly. 涉及财产权,耕作与放牧权的诉讼案件显著地增加。 来自辞典例句
  • I've lost and won more lawsuits than any man in England. 全英国的人算我官司打得最多,赢的也多,输的也多。 来自辞典例句
12 emanates 724a6b247638d0a6927d9c426409bbb8     
v.从…处传出,传出( emanate的第三人称单数 );产生,表现,显示
  • He emanates power and confidence. 他表现出力量和信心。
  • He emanates sympathy. 他流露出同情。 来自辞典例句
13 disclaims 2afcbb27835ca02d7c8c602a84f1c2e3     
v.否认( disclaim的第三人称单数 )
  • She disclaims any knowledge of her husband's business. 她否认对她丈夫的事知情。 来自辞典例句
  • Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. 戴尔公司不拥有其他厂商的商标及商号名称的相关权利。 来自互联网
14 investors dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99     
n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
  • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
  • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
15 supreme PHqzc     
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
16 equitable JobxJ     
  • This is an equitable solution to the dispute. 这是对该项争议的公正解决。
  • Paying a person what he has earned is equitable. 酬其应得,乃公平之事。
17 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
18 legacy 59YzD     
  • They are the most precious cultural legacy our forefathers left.它们是我们祖先留下来的最宝贵的文化遗产。
  • He thinks the legacy is a gift from the Gods.他认为这笔遗产是天赐之物。
19 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 hind Cyoya     
  • The animal is able to stand up on its hind limbs.这种动物能够用后肢站立。
  • Don't hind her in her studies.不要在学业上扯她后腿。
21 toxins 18c3f40d432ba8dc33bad8fb82873ea8     
n.毒素( toxin的名词复数 )
  • The seas have been used as a receptacle for a range of industrial toxins. 海洋成了各种有毒工业废料的大容器。
  • Most toxins are naturally excreted from the body. 大部分毒素被自然排出体外。 来自《简明英汉词典》
22 alleges 3b19fc4aac03cd2333e7882df795ffc4     
断言,宣称,辩解( allege的第三人称单数 )
  • The newspaper article alleges that the mayor is corrupt. 报纸上断言该市长腐败。
  • Steven was tardy this morning and alleges that his bus was late. 史提芬今天早上迟到的说词是公车误点了。
23 racism pSIxZ     
  • He said that racism is endemic in this country.他说种族主义在该国很普遍。
  • Racism causes political instability and violence.种族主义道致政治动荡和暴力事件。
24 peril l3Dz6     
  • The refugees were in peril of death from hunger.难民有饿死的危险。
  • The embankment is in great peril.河堤岌岌可危。
25 extradition R7Eyc     
  • The smuggler is in prison tonight,awaiting extradition to Britain.这名走私犯今晚在监狱,等待引渡到英国。
  • He began to trouble concerning the extradition laws.他开始费尽心思地去想关于引渡法的问题。
26 culpable CnXzn     
  • The judge found the man culpable.法官认为那个人有罪。
  • Their decision to do nothing makes them culpable.他们不采取任何行动的决定使他们难辞其咎。
27 pending uMFxw     
  • The lawsuit is still pending in the state court.这案子仍在州法庭等待定夺。
  • He knew my examination was pending.他知道我就要考试了。
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