BHOPAL, India — The government and Union Carbide Corp. failed Wednesday to meet a deadline for an out-of-court settlement of India's $3-billion damage suit over the Bhopal gas leak, prompting the judge in the case to order resumption of pretrial proceedings.
Both sides said they still are negotiating in an effort to reach agreement on compensation for victims of the Dec. 3, 1984, leak of toxic methyl isocyanate gas that spewed from Union Carbide's now-defunct pesticide plant in Bhopal, 375 miles south of New Delhi. At least 2,600 people died and more than 200,000 were injured, making it the world's worst industrial disaster.
"My heart is bleeding for the gas victims," Judge M. W. Deo told a crowded Bhopal District Court session after the two sides reported that no accord had been forged.
Deo set Nov. 27 for the next court session, directing that it be used to establish a schedule for further hearings on India's demand for $3 billion in damages from the U.S. multinational corporation.