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THE BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY The Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984 was a catastrophe that had no parallel in the world’s industrial history. In the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, a rolling wind carried a poisonous gray cloud from the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (India). Forty tons of toxic gas (Methy-Iso-Cyanate, MIC) was accidentally released from Union Carbide’s Bhopal plant, which leaked and spread throughout the city. The result was a nightmare that still has no end, residents awoke to clouds of suffocating gas and began running desperately through the dark streets, victims arrived at hospitals; breathless and blind. The lungs, brain, eyes, muscles as well as gastro-intestinal, neurological, reproductive and immune systems of those who survived were severely affected. When the sun rose the next morning, the magnitude of devastation was clear. Dead bodies of humans and animals blocked the street, leaves turned black and a smell of burning chili peppers lingered in the air. An estimated 10,000 or more people died. About 500,000 more people suffered agonizing injuries with disastrous effects of the massive

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THE BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDYThe Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984 was a catastrophe that had no parallel in the worlds industrial history. In the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, a rolling wind carried a poisonous gray cloud from the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (India). Forty tons of toxic gas (Methy-Iso-Cyanate, MIC) was accidentally released from Union Carbides Bhopal plant, which leaked and spread throughout the city. The result was a nightmare that still has no end, residents awoke to clouds of suffocating gas and began running desperately through the dark streets, victims arrived at hospitals; breathless and blind. The lungs, brain, eyes, muscles as well as gastro-intestinal, neurological, reproductive and immune systems of those who survived were severely affected. When the sun rose the next morning, the magnitude of devastation was clear. Dead bodies of humans and animals blocked the street, leaves turned black and a smell of burning chili peppers lingered in the air. An estimated 10,000 or more people died. About 500,000 more people suffered agonizing injuries with disastrous effects of the massive poisoning. None can say if future generations will not be affected.TheBhopal disaster, also referred to as theBhopal gas tragedy, was agas leakincident in India, consideredthe world's worstindustrial disaster.[1]It occurred on the night of 23 December 1984 at theUnion Carbide India Limited(UCIL)pesticideplant inBhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed tomethyl isocyanate (MIC)gas and other chemicals. The toxic substance made its way into and around theshanty townslocated near the plant.[2]Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. Thegovernment of Madhya Pradeshconfirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. Others estimate that 8,000 died within two weeks, and another 8,000 ormorehave since died from gas-related diseases. The cause of the disaster remains under debate. The Indian government andlocalactivists argue that slack management and deferred maintenance created a situation where routine pipe maintenance caused a backflow of water into a MIC,tanktriggering the disaster.Union Carbide Corporation(UCC) contends water entered the tank through an act of sabotage.The owner of the factory, UCIL, was majority owned by UCC, with Indian Government-controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1989, UCC paid $470m ($907m in 2014 dollars) to settle litigation stemming from the disaster. In 1994, UCC sold its stake in UCIL toEveready Industries India Limited(EIIL), which subsequently merged withMcLeod Russel (India) Ltd. Eveready ended clean-up on the site in 1998, when it terminated its 99-year lease and turned over control of the site to the state government of Madhya Pradesh.Dow Chemical Companypurchased UCC in 2001, seventeen years after the disaster.Civil andcriminalcases were filed in theDistrict Courtof Bhopal, India, involving UCC andWarren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster.In June 2010, seven ex-employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed byIndian law. An eighth formeremployeewas also convicted, but died before the judgement was passed. Anderson also passed away at a nursinghomein Vero Beach, Florida on September 29, 2014.REASONS The cause was the contamination of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) storage tank No. 610 with water carrying catalytic material. The result was a nightmare that still has no end. Residents awoke to clouds of suffocating gas and began a desperate flight through the dark streets. No alarm ever sounded a warning and no evacuation plan was prepared. When victims arrived at hospitals breathless and blind, do doctors did not know how to treat them since Carbide had not provided emergency information. But it was only when the sun rose the next morning that the magnitude of the devastation was clearIn October 1982 a mixture of MIC, chloroform and hydrochloric acid escaped from the Bhopal plant endangering the neighbouring community and injuring a few workers. This incident made very clear the potential public risks but in spite of the insistence of Carbide officials for safety precautions there was still no action taken.In addition, the following were major contributors to the disaster: Gradual but sustained erosion of good maintenance practices. Declining quality of technical training of plant personnel, especially its supervisory staff. Depleting inventories of vital spares. An indiscriminate economy drive that starved the plant of necessary capital replacement and produced general staff demoralisation. An exodus of some of the more experienced and able engineers and operators from the factory. Last but not the least, increasing under manning of important work stations in many parts of the plant.CAUSE AND EFFECTCauses and NegligenceThe day after the killer cloud struck Bhopal, Union Carbide officials at their Danbury headquarters were telling the press and public that they would require two to three weeks to determine and report upon the cause of the disaster. Ten weeks later they had provided no account of it and were carefully maintaining secrecy. Then again they promised the report in two or three weeks.Furthermore, the Chairman of the Board said: "Our report is restricted to what happened in those tanks. Our report will not deal with how things were done in India from a managerial or a personal standpoint. I don't think you have to reconstruct what the people in India did." This is an enunciation from the foxhole of legal defense. It tells us to expect a technical report of limited scope.In fact, the first news of the Union Carbide report reaching India on March 21 indicates that it is the kind of technical report whose premises are concealed -- intending thereby to focus blame upon purely technical negligence and personal negligence at the Bhopal site. It is presented as the culmination of a massive research project. It hints, moreover, at the possibility of sabotage, a deliberate act in releasing water into Tank 610. It appears to reflect on-the-spot investigation after the accident; promptly government officials at Bhopal denied that the American team had been allowed entry into the pesticides unit, denied that the Indian Central Bureau of Investigations had given them any access to relevant materials, and asserted that the Union Carbide experts were not even allowed to speak to their Indian workers.My aim here is of course broader: "to reconstruct what the people in India did" and to "deal with how things were done in India (and America) from a managerial or a personal standpoint." Probably this report will be more helpful, even for the Company.The ultimate cause of pesticide accidents is the pest. Pests destroy crops, spread disease, and convey endless annoyances. They proliferate; under pesticide pressure, they also may change genetically to defend themselves. Means of combating pests are numerous and the most effective of them have been toxins in a form for wide dissemination, poisonous to humans as well as to pests.Invention is a human non-genetic change; pesticides are continuously in the process of invention. As with all inventions, a time lag occurs before the adoption of new types of pesticides and techniques. The lag is brought on by dislike of losing one's investments in old techniques as well as by the time required for rendering an invention practical on a large scale.Perhaps this needs be said because in the Bhopal case one perceives both the pressure of new pesticidal inventions and equipment and the resistance to scrapping investments in old formulas, plants, and procedures. These, too, may be termed causes of the tragedy.As one works closer to the tragedy from such remote causes, he comes upon many a closer cause, so many that practically everyone whose behavior is mentioned in this report can, whether he wishes so or not, be placed in the network of causes with some justification. For legal and journalistic purposes, a disproportionate amount of attention is invariably to be given to the immediate cause, the "trigger-man," whoever committed the "one" act without which no gas would have escaped and the City of Bhopal would have rested in peace during the night of December 2-3, 1985.Such a "trigger-man" appears to exist. He would be the worker who fitted a water hose into a pipe that sent or leaked water into Tank 610. What the American Chairman of Union Carbide implied of himself after the accident is true of this worker as well: our problem is not solved by nailing him to the wall. However, for purposes of delineating the chain of causation, it is as well to begin with the worker. He is known to authorities and Union Carbide and has been mentioned in the press.The complex of buildings, machines, pipes, and toxic chemicals in which our supposed "trigger-man" was to be found working that night may best be conveyed by a set of diagrams. These show the factory layout and neighboring area (Figure 2). The MIC storage tank (Figure 3) and the vent gas scrubber (Figure 4). The path of the gas cloud vented above the scrubber has already been shown (Figure 1) as it affected the City of Bhopal.A stainless steel tank emplaced in concrete contained probably 45 tons of liquid MIC. The Union CarbideManualcalls MIC (CH3N = C = O) "an extremely hazardous chemical.. by all means of contact" and regards it "as an oral and contact poison" even though it is not classified among poisons. It is also "extremely flammable." Most probably, water got into the tank through a pipe. The MIC, which reacts violently with water, turned into an explosive gas vapor that blew out the valves in its path. The event was a constrained explosion, not a leak, and the explosion formed a cloud which blew downwind over Bhopal. It was the simplest of occurrences : a tank of volatile liquid, a violent reaction with water, a prolonged explosion of gas through a pipe and out.Sometime after 9:00 P.M., with the night shift due at 10:45 and not much going on, the "trigger-man" was taking a cup of tea at the company canteen. He had worked for seven years at the plant, and for reasons unknown, two months before, had been transferred into the unit that makes and stores MIC. He had less than the background and training originally required to fill his job as an operator.The day after the killer cloud struck Bhopal, Union Carbide officials at their Danbury headquarters were telling the press and public that they would require two to three weeks to determine and report upon the cause of the disaster. Ten weeks later they had provided no account of it and were carefully maintaining secrecy. Then again they promised the report in two or three weeks.Furthermore, the Chairman of the Board said: "Our report is restricted to what happened in those tanks. Our report will not deal with how things were done in India from a managerial or a personal standpoint. I don't think you have to reconstruct what the people in India did." This is an enunciation from the foxhole of legal defense. It tells us to expect a technical report of limited scope.In fact, the first news of the Union Carbide report reaching India on March 21 indicates that it is the kind of technical report whose premises are concealed -- intending thereby to focus blame upon purely technical negligence and personal negligence at the Bhopal site. It is presented as the culmination of a massive research project. It hints, moreover, at the possibility of sabotage, a deliberate act in releasing water into Tank 610. It appears to reflect on-the-spot investigation after the accident; promptly government officials at Bhopal denied that the American team had been allowed entry into the pesticides unit, denied that the Indian Central Bureau of Investigations had given them any access to relevant materials, and asserted that the Union Carbide experts were not even allowed to speak to their Indian workers.My aim here is of course broader: "to reconstruct what the people in India did" and to "deal with how things were done in India (and America) from a managerial or a personal standpoint." Probably this report will be more helpful, even for the Company.The ultimate cause of pesticide accidents is the pest. Pests destroy crops, spread disease, and convey endless annoyances. They proliferate; under pesticide pressure, they also may change genetically to defend themselves. Means of combating pests are numerous and the most effective of them have been toxins in a form for wide dissemination, poisonous to humans as well as to pests.Invention is a human non-genetic change; pesticides are continuously in the process of invention. As with all inventions, a time lag occurs before the adoption of new types of pesticides and techniques. The lag is brought on by dislike of losing one's investments in old techniques as well as by the time required for rendering an invention practical on a large scale.Perhaps this needs be said because in the Bhopal case one perceives both the pressure of new pesticidal inventions and equipment and the resistance to scrapping investments in old formulas, plants, and procedures. These, too, may be termed causes of the tragedy.As one works closer to the tragedy from such remote causes, he comes upon many a closer cause, so many that practically everyone whose behavior is mentioned in this report can, whether he wishes so or not, be placed in the network of causes with some justification. For legal and journalistic purposes, a disproportionate amount of attention is invariably to be given to the immediate cause, the "trigger-man," whoever committed the "one" act without which no gas would have escaped and the City of Bhopal would have rested in peace during the night of December 2-3, 1985.Such a "trigger-man" appears to exist. He would be the worker who fitted a water hose into a pipe that sent or leaked water into Tank 610. What the American Chairman of Union Carbide implied of himself after the accident is true of this worker as well: our problem is not solved by nailing him to the wall. However, for purposes of delineating the chain of causation, it is as well to begin with the worker. He is known to authorities and Union Carbide and has been mentioned in the press.The complex of buildings, machines, pipes, and toxic chemicals in which our supposed "trigger-man" was to be found working that night may best be conveyed by a set of diagrams. These show the factory layout and neighboring area (Figure 2). The MIC storage tank (Figure 3) and the vent gas scrubber (Figure 4). The path of the gas cloud vented above the scrubber has already been shown (Figure 1) as it affected the City of Bhopal.A stainless steel tank emplaced in concrete contained probably 45 tons of liquid MIC. The Union CarbideManualcalls MIC (CH3N = C = O) "an extremely hazardous chemical.. by all means of contact" and regards it "as an oral and contact poison" even though it is not classified among poisons. It is also "extremely flammable." Most probably, water got into the tank through a pipe. The MIC, which reacts violently with water, turned into an explosive gas vapor that blew out the valves in its path. The event was a constrained explosion, not a leak, and the explosion formed a cloud which blew downwind over Bhopal. It was the simplest of occurrences : a tank of volatile liquid, a violent reaction with water, a prolonged explosion of gas through a pipe and out.Sometime after 9:00 P.M., with the night shift due at 10:45 and not much going on, the "trigger-man" was taking a cup of tea at the company canteen. He had worked for seven years at the plant, and for reasons unknown, two months before, had been transferred into the unit that makes and stores MIC. He had less than the background and training originally required to fill his job as an operator.The day after the killer cloud struck Bhopal, Union Carbide officials at their Danbury headquarters were telling the press and public that they would require two to three weeks to determine and report upon the cause of the disaster. Ten weeks later they had provided no account of it and were carefully maintaining secrecy. Then again they promised the report in two or three weeks.Furthermore, the Chairman of the Board said: "Our report is restricted to what happened in those tanks. Our report will not deal with how things were done in India from a managerial or a personal standpoint. I don't think you have to reconstruct what the people in India did." This is an enunciation from the foxhole of legal defense. It tells us to expect a technical report of limited scope.In fact, the first news of the Union Carbide report reaching India on March 21 indicates that it is the kind of technical report whose premises are concealed -- intending thereby to focus blame upon purely technical negligence and personal negligence at the Bhopal site. It is presented as the culmination of a massive research project. It hints, moreover, at the possibility of sabotage, a deliberate act in releasing water into Tank 610. It appears to reflect on-the-spot investigation after the accident; promptly government officials at Bhopal denied that the American team had been allowed entry into the pesticides unit, denied that the Indian Central Bureau of Investigations had given them any access to relevant materials, and asserted that the Union Carbide experts were not even allowed to speak to their Indian workers.My aim here is of course broader: "to reconstruct what the people in India did" and to "deal with how things were done in India (and America) from a managerial or a personal standpoint." Probably this report will be more helpful, even for the Company.The ultimate cause of pesticide accidents is the pest. Pests destroy crops, spread disease, and convey endless annoyances. They proliferate; under pesticide pressure, they also may change genetically to defend themselves. Means of combating pests are numerous and the most effective of them have been toxins in a form for wide dissemination, poisonous to humans as well as to pests.Invention is a human non-genetic change; pesticides are continuously in the process of invention. As with all inventions, a time lag occurs before the adoption of new types of pesticides and techniques. The lag is brought on by dislike of losing one's investments in old techniques as well as by the time required for rendering an invention practical on a large scale.Perhaps this needs be said because in the Bhopal case one perceives both the pressure of new pesticidal inventions and equipment and the resistance to scrapping investments in old formulas, plants, and procedures. These, too, may be termed causes of the tragedy.As one works closer to the tragedy from such remote causes, he comes upon many a closer cause, so many that practically everyone whose behavior is mentioned in this report can, whether he wishes so or not, be placed in the network of causes with some justification. For legal and journalistic purposes, a disproportionate amount of attention is invariably to be given to the immediate cause, the "trigger-man," whoever committed the "one" act without which no gas would have escaped and the City of Bhopal would have rested in peace during the night of December 2-3, 1985.Such a "trigger-man" appears to exist. He would be the worker who fitted a water hose into a pipe that sent or leaked water into Tank 610. What the American Chairman of Union Carbide implied of himself after the accident is true of this worker as well: our problem is not solved by nailing him to the wall. However, for purposes of delineating the chain of causation, it is as well to begin with the worker. He is known to authorities and Union Carbide and has been mentioned in the press.The complex of buildings, machines, pipes, and toxic chemicals in which our supposed "trigger-man" was to be found working that night may best be conveyed by a set of diagrams. These show the factory layout and neighboring area (Figure 2). The MIC storage tank (Figure 3) and the vent gas scrubber (Figure 4). The path of the gas cloud vented above the scrubber has already been shown (Figure 1) as it affected the City of Bhopal.A stainless steel tank emplaced in concrete contained probably 45 tons of liquid MIC. The Union CarbideManualcalls MIC (CH3N = C = O) "an extremely hazardous chemical.. by all means of contact" and regards it "as an oral and contact poison" even though it is not classified among poisons. It is also "extremely flammable." Most probably, water got into the tank through a pipe. The MIC, which reacts violently with water, turned into an explosive gas vapor that blew out the valves in its path. The event was a constrained explosion, not a leak, and the explosion formed a cloud which blew downwind over Bhopal. It was the simplest of occurrences : a tank of volatile liquid, a violent reaction with water, a prolonged explosion of gas through a pipe and out.Sometime after 9:00 P.M., with the night shift due at 10:45 and not much going on, the "trigger-man" was taking a cup of tea at the company canteen. He had worked for seven years at the plant, and for reasons unknown, two months before, had been transferred into the unit that makes and stores MIC. He had less than the background and training originally required to fill his job as an operator.

AFTERMATH AND HEALTH AFFECTSIn the aftermath of the poisonous cloud on December 7th 1984 a multi-billion dollar lawsuit was field. The American attorney who had filed the case in U.S. Court was the first beginning of decades of legal fractions. Ultimately the legal fractions were moved from the U.S. Courts and placed under Indian Jurisdiction to compensate those affected and injured. The Indian Supreme Court arbitrated a settlement with Union Carbide Corporation for a lump sum of $470 Million which was to be distributed to the claimants as a full and final settlement. According to the BBC the average amount paid to the families of the dead was only $2,200. In preceding cases, Union Carbide Corporation made every effort to manipulate and withhold of scientific data to deter those affected. Today the company still has not made public of the exact composition of the poisonous plume cloud. In 1984 the Union Carbide Corporation was worth $10 billion dollars more than what its worth today and currently operates under DOW Chemical (Union Carbide, Peterson M.J.).Also as a further insult to Bhopal, India, Union Carbide Corporation discontinued investment operations following the tragedy and has also failed to clean up the industrial site completely. The production operations center continues to leak poisonous chemicals and heavy metals. The simplistic of all necessities, water, has to be shipped because these poisonous chemicals have found their way into local water aquifers. One of the principal legacys that has been added to this Bhopal incident is that the water is so dangerously contaminated and has been left by the company for the people of Madhya Pradesh to clean up (Peterson M.J.).The exothermic reaction triggered numerous short term health and long term health effects for the people of Bhopal. The poisonous plume cloud was principally composed of materials that was denser than the surrounding air consequently stayed close the ground, affecting children that went running though some of the densest patches. Pregnant women amidst the devastations suffered convolutions and extreme stomach pains. Many women ended up miscarrying. As the gas cloud continued to set in individuals struggled for air, vomiting violently, and their eyes burning. MIC breaks the walls of the lungs causing people to ooze white foam from their mouth causing many to drown in their own bodily fluids. Other deaths were caused relexogenic circulatory collapse and pulmonary oedema. After autopsies were performed, the tragedy revealed the changes to the lungs, cerebral oedema, tubular necrosis of the kidneys, fatty degeneration of the liver and necrotising enteritis (Willey RJ, 2006). Stillbirth rate increased by 300% and neonatal mortality rate also increased by 200%, amidst the gas leak (Health Effects of the Toxic 1994).