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Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 21:09 UK

New moves over Bhopal disaster

People beat an effigy of Mr Anderson, Bhopal, 31 July, 2009
There are renewed calls for the extradition of Warren Anderson

An Indian court has re-issued an arrest warrant for the former boss of the US chemical company responsible for the Bhopal disaster 25 years ago.

Warren Anderson was head of Union Carbide when its pesticide factory at Bhopal, central India, leaked tons of poison gas.

Thousands of people were killed and many more were injured.

The court in Bhopal re-issued the warrant in response to an appeal by a victims' group.

Extradition

It also urged the Indian government to seek Mr Anderson's extradition from the United States.

Activists who had gathered outside the court cheered the news, and some beat an effigy of Mr Anderson.

At least 2,000 people died on the night of the accident, in December 1984, according to Indian government figures. Aid organisations estimate 5,000 died in the first 72 hours, and a further 15,000 in the following weeks.

Of the living, at least 100,000 say they are chronically ill because of their exposure to the toxic gas.

Mr Anderson was arrested following the disaster, but left India soon afterwards.

Union Carbide agreed to pay $470m in compensation in 1989.

Victims' groups have accused the Indian government of delaying distribution of the money.



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