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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Bhopal gas disaster fugitive 'found'
Gas leak victims make the victory sign after a court rules Mr Anderson's charges will not be lessened
India accuses Mr Anderson of 'culpable homicide'
The environmental group Greenpeace says it has tracked down a fugitive former company chief who is wanted on charges relating to one of the world's worst industrial accidents.

Greenpeace said its members found Warren Anderson, the former chairman of the US-based Union Carbide company, at a holiday home near New York.


If Greenpeace can track down India's most wanted, I find it hard to believe nobody else could have done it

Casey Harrel, Greenpeace
India has filed charges of "culpable homicide" against Mr Anderson, who was in charge of the pesticide company when a gas leak from one its plants in the Indian city of Bhopal killed thousands of people in 1984.

American authorities had always insisted they did not know Mr Anderson's whereabouts.

Greenpeace has called on the United States and India to begin extradition proceedings against him.

The announcement came a day after a court in India refused to lessen the charge against the former company chairman.

'Confronted'

Greenpeace campaigner Casey Harrel said he found 80-year-old Mr Anderson two weeks ago living in the Hamptons resort district of Long Island, New York.

Mr Harrel said when confronted, Mr Anderson would not confirm his identity.

"He tried to deny who he was and then he ran into the house," said Mr Harrel.

The campaigner said members of the group served Mr Anderson with a copy of the Indian arrest warrant.

"If Greenpeace can track down India's most wanted, I find it hard to believe nobody else could have done it," said Mr Harrel.

Court challenge

On Wednesday, a court in India refused a request by the Indian Government to lessen the charge against Mr Anderson to "hurt by negligence".

Open in new window : Bhopal disaster
Images remembering India's poison gas leak

That would have brought the case against Mr Anderson in line with Indian officials from the same company, who have already succeeded in getting their charges watered down to negligence.

But a judge in Bhopal rejected the federal prosecutors' application, arguing that Mr Anderson had not applied to any Indian court to have his charges reduced.

If convicted on the more serious charge of culpable homicide, Mr Anderson could face up to 20 years in prison in India.

Nearly 18 years on, the disaster at the Union Carbide factory is a continuing nightmare for the people of Bhopal.

More than 3,000 people died within hours, mostly in agony, when a storage tank burst, sending tonnes of deadly gases over the sleeping city.

In all, more than 20,000 deaths have been linked to the disaster.

More than 100,000 people are ill, including babies still being born to victims today.

See also:

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