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Thousands flee Bhopal lest another leak occur

Fearing a new leak of the poison gas that killed more than 2,000 people, thousands of people fled Bhopal Wednesday after the government announced plans to neutralize remaining toxic material in a Union Carbide plant.

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American lawyers have filed a second multibillion-dollar suit against Union Carbide and signed up about 10,000 gas disaster victims in Bhopal as potential clients. A team of lawyers from California who arrived here Tuesday said they had filed a $20 billion class-action suit on Monday in federal court in New York.

Meanwhile, Union Carbide's methyl isocyanate plant in West Virginia was pronounced ''safe'' Wednesday by a Machinists union official and the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They would not, however, rule out the type of disaster that occurred in Bhopal.

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