Warren Anderson (American businessman)

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Warren Martin Anderson (November 29, 1921 – September 29, 2014) was an American businessman who served as Chairman and CEO of the Union Carbide Corporation at the time of the Bhopal disaster in 1984.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Anderson was born in 1921[3] in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York, to Swedish immigrants. He was named after the American president Warren Harding. He later attended the naval pre-flight school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He married Lillian Anderson.[4] They lived in Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York and owned houses in Vero Beach, Florida and Greenwich, Connecticut.[4] He died at a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida on September 29, 2014. [5]

Bhopal disaster[edit]

Main article: Bhopal disaster

The Bhopal disaster took place in a plant belonging to Union Carbide's (UCC) Indian subsidiary, Union Carbide India Limited, in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India during 1984. Thousands of people died and thousands more were injured in the disaster.[6] As the UCC CEO, Anderson was charged with manslaughter by Indian authorities. He flew to India and was promptly placed in custody by Indian authorities but was allowed to leave India .[7]

He was declared a fugitive from justice by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on February 1, 1992, for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case. A formal extradition request was issued in 2003.[8][9] The United States declined to extradite him citing a lack of evidence.[10] The chief judicial magistrate of Bhopal issued an arrest warrant for Anderson on July 31, 2009.[11]

In August 2009, a UCC spokesperson said Union Carbide had no role in operating the plant at the time as the factory was owned, managed and operated by employees of Union Carbide India Limited.[12] Eight former senior employees of the subsidiary were found guilty on June 7, 2010. After these convictions, a UCC spokesperson said, "All the appropriate people from UCIL – officers and those who actually ran the plant on a daily basis – have appeared to face charges."

Moti Singh, Bhopal's District Collector, escorted UCC Chairman W. Anderson from the airport to the guest house on Shyamla Hills and back to the airport. In his book, written in Hindi, entitled "Bhopal Gas Trasadi ka Sach" (The truth of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 2009.) the former District Collector wrote, that Anderson "did not appear satisfied and kept on saying that he wanted to look at the scenario here (Bhopal) and to meet with the chief minister". Despite being told that there was huge resentment among people and it was not possible for him to visit anywhere, he "kept on evading the proposal to leave for Delhi." ... "Anderson agreed to leave Bhopal only after a discussion of 1.5-2 hours and only then signed the bail document."[13]


  1. ^ "Former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson dead". The Economic Times. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "W. M. Anderson, 92, Dies; Faced India Plant Disaster". Douglas Martin. New York Times. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  3. ^ The New York Times Biographical Service - Volume 15. New York Times & Arno Press. 1984. p. 1565. 
  4. ^ a b "Wife: Ex-Exec 'Haunted' by Bhopal Gas Leak". CBS News. August 1, 2009. 
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/business/w-m-anderson-92-dies-led-union-carbide-in-80s-.html
  6. ^ Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Bhopal Tragedy of 1984 Bhopal Information Center, Union Carbide Corporation
  7. ^ "Saved by a phone call: the mystery of Warren Anderson's escape". Ranjan and Ashutosh. Hindustan Times. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Dow Chemical Company: Bhopal Disaster". Knowmore.org. Retrieved December 3, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Warren Anderson: 30-Year old road to nowhere". Indian Express. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Lack of Evidence Held up Anderson Extradition: MEA Times of India, June 10, 2010
  11. ^ "Court issues arrest warrant for former CEO of Union Carbide in gas leak case". The Guardian. London. July 31, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  12. ^ Company Defends Chief in Bhopal Disaster New York Times, August 3, 2009
  13. ^ The Hindustan Times,Bhopal/ 2014/11/6

External links[edit]