Was Union Carbide experimenting for chemical warfare in Bhopal?
Posted February 4, 2014on:
Dr Heeresh Chandra, one of the country’s foremost forensic experts, was of the opinion that the US multinational Union Carbide Corporation (UCC)had experimented on the Indians some deadly chemical for use in a future biological warfare. Dr Chandra was involved in the investigations of post-mortem blood and tank residues. Phosgene and cyanide, the two most deadly chemicals, were also found in the blood of the victims, though these two chemicals had no business to be stored in the plant which was supposed to manufacture pesticides. (Phosgene was “effectively used as a combat gas during the First World War”. It is a severe irritant to the entire respiratory tract).
Dr Heeresh Chandra’s theory is supported by the findings of Swedish medical practitioner Ingrid Eckerman who was a member of the now-dissolved International Medical Commission on Bhopal (IMCB) and had been visiting Bhopal frequently in connection with her research. She says in her book, “Bhopal Saga: Causes and Consequences of the World’s Largest Industrial Disaster”: “according to reports seized from the Research and Development centre of the plant at Bhopal as well as documents traced from other offices of the firm, the (Union Carbide) Corporation had conducted a number of experiments on animals and plants, and was aware of the effects of MiC. It is likely that they had information not only on short-term effects, but also on medium and long-term effects”.
She says in her book: “a Research and Development unit was set up in Bhopal in 1976. The centre, the biggest in Asia, had five insect-rearing laboratories and a two-hectare experimental farm for testing chemical agents. Here, new molecules were synthesised and tested. It appeared that the UCIL (Union Carbide India Limited) was conducting (from 1975) field studies using new chemical agents without getting the projects cleared by the top-level committee where all collaborative research efforts should be screened from a security angle”.
She then refers to the reports about the presence of chemical warfare experts at Bhopal studying MiC’s effects (after the disaster). “For example, it is known that from the Pentagon, a medical doctor was sent to collect military intelligence regarding the effects of the leaked gases. From Sweden (her own country), two doctors were sent to make a report for the National Defence Research Institute”.