bhopal gas gas tragedy

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  • 8/10/2019 bhopal gas gas tragedy




    December 3,19

  • 8/10/2019 bhopal gas gas tragedy


    INTRODUCTION The Bhopal Disaster which is commonly

    referred to as Bhopal Gas Tragedy was a gas

    leak incident in India, considered one of the

    worldsworst industrial catastrophes.

    It occurred on the night of December 2-

    3,1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited,

    a pesticide plant in Bhopal , Madhya Pradesh


    A leak of Methyl Iso-Cyanate Gas (MIC)

    and other chemicals from the plant resulted

    in the exposure of hundreds and thousands of


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    About UCIL (Union Carbide India Limited

    UCILwas a chemical company in Bhopal which was

    established in 1934.

    UCILwas owned 51%by Union Carbide Corporationand 41% by Indian investors including the Indian


    In 1984, the annual sale was about $200 million.

    At the time of accident, it employed 9,000 people at

    14 plants in 5 divisions.

    It produced products including Batteries, Carbon

    products, Welding equipments, plastics, industrial

    chemicals,pesticidesand marine products.
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    Plant Production Process UCC (Union Carbide Corporation) produced

    carbaryl using MICas an intermediate.

    After the Bhopal plant was built, othermanufacturers including Bayer produced

    carbaryl without MIC, though at a greater

    manufacturing cost.

    Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methyl carbamate) is a

    chemical in the carbamate family used chiefly as

    an insecticide.

    It is classified as a likely human carcinogenby

    the United States Environmental Protection

    Agency (EPA.)

    Methylamine(1) reacts withphosgene(2)pr

    isocyanate (3)which reacts with 1-naphthol(

    naphthyl methyl carbamate)(5)
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    During the night of 2nd3rd December 1984, water

    entered Tank E610containing 42 tons of MIC.

    The resulting runway reaction increased the

    temperature inside the tank to over 200C(392 F) andraised the pressure.

    About 30 metric tons of Methyl Iso-cyanate (MIC)

    escaped from the tank into the atmosphere of Bhopal in

    45 to 60 minutes.

    More than 20,000 Ki l led.


    What happened in Bhopal

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    How did it started 2nd December,1984 IST:22:45 PM- Routine Maintenance activities

    were taking place in the factory. The Pipes were flushed with water to

    remove (MIC) trimmer deposits which were in the form of Rust.

    Somehow, Water entered in to the E610, containing about 42 tons ofMIC

    High Temperature Alarm was disconnected when the Refrigeration

    System was shut Down 3 year before the tragedy.

    Water continued entering the tank until midnight of 3rd Dec. 1984,

    when thermal runway reaction take place and thus increase in pressure &temperature and more harmful vapours into the PVH(Process Vent

    header) and explosion in the MIC storage tanks.

    Factory workers respond immediately by that time but was too late.

    About 30 metric tons of methyl iso-cyanate (MIC) escaped from the

    tank into the atmosphere, which got added to a weak wind which

    frequently changed direction, which in turn helped the gas to cover morearea in a shorter period of time (about one hour).

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    Why did it take place Storing MIC in large tanks and filling beyond recommended


    The flare tower and several vent gas scrubbers had been out

    of service for five months before the disaster. Failure ofseveral safety systems .

    Also some safety systemsbeing switched off to save money,

    including the MIC tank refrigeration the MIC was kept at 20

    degrees Celsius, not the 4.5 degrees advised by the manual.

    There was only one manual back-up system, compared to afour-stage system used by union carbide plant of USA.

    Lack of skilled operators-No proper training was given to


    Carbon steel valves were used at the factory, even though

    they corrode when exposed to acid.

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    Respiratory Disorders Irritation to the lungs, causing coughingand/or shortness of breathing. Higher exposure caused build up offluids (pulmonary enema). Caused Asthma.

    Cancer Hazard Caused mutation (genetic changes). It causedcancer.

    Reproductive Hazard Association between exposure to Methyliso-cyanate and miscarriages. It may damage the growing fetus.May also affect fertility in men and women.

    After Effect- Traces of many toxins were found in the Brest Milkof mothers and were in turn transmitted to the recipient babies.

    Lead, Nickel, Copper,Chromium, hexa chlorocyclo hexane andchlorobenzenes were found in soil samples with Mercury was

    found to be between 20,000 to 6,000,000times the standard levelin soil.

    Effects To Human/Animal/Nature

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    Missions in Bhopal Tragedy

    Fact Finding Mission in Bhopal (2002)

    BBC Radio 5 Broadcast (2005) reportedatmosphere near UCIL still polluted withtoxic chemicals.

    BBC Radio 5 Broadcast (2009) reported

    underground water near UCIL stillcontaminated with carbon tetrachloride.

    t t t t

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    upport o overnment to u pr tsIndian government closed plant to outsiders and failed in making the data


    The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) were forbidden to

    publish their data on health effects until after 1994

    The Indian Government and UCC deny permanent injuries were caused by


    UCIL paid a token of $470 million even though asked a total compensation

    of $3.3billion.But the government said nothing

    The government sent safely Mr. Anderson the CEO of UCIL at the time of

    massacre, to US

    Civil and criminal cases are still pending in United States District Court,

    Manhattan and the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC, UCIL

    employees, and Warren Anderson

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    Compensation from Union Carbide The Government of India passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster

    Act that gave the government rights to represent all victims in oroutside India.

    UCC offered US $350 million, the insurance sum. TheGovernment of India claimed US$ 3.3 billionfrom UCC.

    In 1989, a settlement was reached under which UCC agreed to payUS$470 million (the insurance sum, plus interest) in a full and

    final settlement of its civil and criminal liability.

    A US court rejected the law suit blaming UCC for causing soil andwater pollution around the site of the plant and ruled thatresponsibility for remedial measures or related claims rested withthe State Government and not with UCC.

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    RehabilitationEconomic rehabilitation-Widow pension of Rs. 200/per month

    (later Rs. 750) was provided. Each claimant was to be categorized

    by a doctor. On 24 June 2010, the Union Cabinet of

    the Government of India approved a Rs1265craid package. It willbe funded by Indian taxpayers through the government.

    Occupational rehabilitation-33of the 50 planned work-sheds for

    gas victims started. All except one was closed down by 1992.1986,

    the MP government invested in the Special Industrial Area Bhopal.

    152of the planned 200 work-sheds were built.

    Health Care-The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research

    Centre (BMHRC) is a 350-bedded super specialty hospital. Heart

    surgery and hemodialysis are done. Major specialties missing are

    gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics.


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    Supervisorcould have been placed on night shifts and the readings and feedbthe Equipment could have been taken for every one hour.

    There should have been 4 stage back up system (union carbide plant of USAinstead of a one manual back up system.

    At regular intervals proper maintenance and servicing of Flare towers, prevalves, gas scrubbers must have be made.

    Strict regulations and methods must have been used according to the manua

    Proper pressure gauges should have been used.

    The employeesshould have been well trained for maintaining and running th


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    CONCLUSIONSThe Bhopal Disaster has gone down in history as one of

    the worldsworst Industrial accident to ever occur.

    Thousands of people lost their lives, countless othersinjured, and the environment contaminated due numerousbad decisions among those who owned the plant.

    There are several other Industries till now working only

    for their profit, leaving the safety of people in it andaround it in waters.

    The government should take necessary steps to controlthese industries so that no other disaster occurs.

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    F i n

    T H N K Y O U