NEW DELHI, India— A report submitted to the Indian Parliament Friday blamed fault plant design and insufficient safety precautions for the Bhopal gas leak disaster that killed at least 1,700 people.

The authors of the report also rejected claims that the tragedy was the result of sabotage.

“The view of sabotage is obviously an afterthought,” said a press release accompanying the Report on Scientific Studies on the Factors Related to deadly methyl isocyanate gas. Official estimates say 1,700 people were killed and 100,000 injured. Unofficial estimates range higher.

Most of the dead were children and elderly people living in shanty towns around the plant, owned by Union Carbide India Ltd. The firm is a subsidiary of the Union Carbide Corp., headquartered in Danbury, Conn.

The company has argued since last summer that the cases should be tried in India because that is where the tragedy occurred, where all essential witnesses remain and where critical evidence is available.

The Indian government argued that its judicial system was inadequate and incapable of handling the cases.

Carbide said in its petition that the Indian government’s argument is invalid and suggested that the real motivation behind efforts to try the cases in the United States was money.

“It is evident that the real reason for proceeding here is the hope that American juries will be more generous in Indian Parliament blamed faulty plant design and insufficient safety precautions for the Bhopal gas leak.

The scientific report was submitted to the Parliament by Dr. S. Varadarajan, director general of India’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

It concluded that “insufficient caution in design, in choice of materials of construction and in instruments, together with lack of facilities for safe effective quick disposal of materials showing instability, contributed to the event.”

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 27, 1985