Home   Join  
News & city
London news
Olympic bid

London jobs
Homes & property
Travel Ads

Site & web search
Christmas at Waitrose
Hiscox home insurance
Harvey Nichols hamper
American Airlines
London Music Network
Cheaper phone bills
Cheaper gas/electricity
Discover Carinthia
Douglas Green wine
Evening Standard
Support London's Olympic bid
NHS Champions
BT Yahoo! Broadband
News Services
Newsflash by email
Tube map
Bus map
Picture galleries
Kelly Brook
Bush Tucker trial
All picture galleries
Inside London
Insider's Guide
Tourist London - free!
Free newsletters
Newsflash by email
Free Sportsflash service
Text only version
My day
Marf cartoon
Blower cartoon
Metro café
Find a date!
Win! Win! Win!
Waitrose hamper
Exclusive film screening
Harvey Nichols hamper
Holmes Place/Lipovitan
Makeover & photo shoot
All competitions
Advertise with us
Contact/update us

Story tools:
Back a page
Read later
Mail to a friend

BBC hoaxed over Bhopal compensation
By James Rossiter And Jonathan Prynn, Evening Standard
3 December 2004

The BBC was today hoaxed into broadcasting a claim that victims of India's Bhopal disaster are to be paid £6.2 billion in compensation.

In an interview a Dow Chemical "spokesman" appeared to admit full responsibility for the world's worst industrial accident, 20 years ago to the day. The hoaxer said the cash would go to the 120,000 people who may need medical care for the rest of their lives and help to "fully and swiftly remediate the Bhopal site".

A leak of poison gas from the Union Carbide pesticide plant, which Dow took over in 2001, killed some 15,000 people and injured about 550,000 more. Campaigners have alleged that only part of £224 million Dow paid to the Indian government - a settlement upheld in 1991 by the Indian supreme court - ever reached those directly affected by the disaster.

Dow today quickly denied the statement to the BBC and announced the corporation had fallen victim to "an elaborate hoax". The BBC itself reported that some victims' relatives in India were "in tears" at news they may finally get compensation.

But Jude Finisteria, the man behind the stunt, admitted he was a member of The Yes Men, a campaign group which has staged similar "identity correction" hoaxes in the past. He said that while the group regretted raising false hopes, the stunt had been worthwhile because it focused attention on the scandal.

"It's terrible to compound insult to injury," he said. "But we do think the chance of possibly adding a little pressure to try to make something happen is inestimable."

 Top of page
©2004 Associated New Media | Terms | Privacy policy

Today in London

Lorries to be banned from the middle lane

Newsflashes: sign up for our free service

Microbes on Mars pose risk to Earth
London's weather
13°c 22°c
5 day forecast
Who do you want to win the election battle for Bethnal Green and Bow?

Oona King

George Galloway

Save money now!

Power shower: Switch your gas and electricity

Win! Free gas for a year