Bhopal Gas Trajedy

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  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy



    The Bhopal disasterwas a gas leak incident in

    India, considered one of the wo r ld 's wors t

    indus tr ial d isaster. It occurred on the night of

    December 23, 1984 at the Union CarbideInd ia Lim ited (UCIL) pest ic ide plant in

    Bhopal , Madhya Pradesh, India. A leak of

    methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals fromthe plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of

    thousands of people.

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    All because of.

    Methyl isoc yanate (MIC) is extremely to xic .

    MIC can damage by inhalation, ingestion and

    contact in quantities as low as 0.4 ppm. Damage

    includes coughing, chest pain, asthma, irritation

    of the eyes, nose and throat, as well as skin

    damage. Higher levels of exposure, over 21

    ppm, can result pneumonia and death.

    At 25 C,it reacts vigourously in excess water,half of the MIC is consumed in 9 min,if the heat

    is not efficiently removed from the mixture, the

    rate of the reaction will increase and rapidly

    cause the MIC to boil.

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    As a result..

    Twenty-five years have passed since that night ofterror and death in Bhopal, which saw a cloud ofdeadly gases explode out of a faulty tank in a pesticidefactory and silently spread into the homes of sleeping

    people. Some vomited uncontrollably, went into unconscious

    and fell dead.

    Although no official count of casualties has ever beendone, estimates based on hospital and rehabilitationrecords show that about 20,000 people died and about5.7 lakh suffered bodily damage, making it by far theworld's worst industrial disaster ever.

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  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


    Photograph is perhaps themost capable one to tell thestory of that night.

    On 5th dec 1984 PabloBartholomew and Raghu Rai

    went to cover the disaster, andsaw the people who were aboutto bury this child .They

    quickly took several shotsbefore the grave was filledwith dirt. They did not ask thename of the child or father.Unable to withstand the sorrow,

    they broke down and cried. So far, the identity of this girl

    child remains unknown. Noone has come forward claimingto be a relative of this girl.

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    After the incident,noone under the age of18 was registered.Thenumber of children

    exposed to the gaseswas at least 2,00,000.

    Doctors and hospitalswere not informed ofproper treatment

    methods for MIC gasinhalation.They weretold to simply givecough medicine andeye drops to their


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  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


    A view of the inside premises of the

    union carbide factory a year after the

    midnght 2-3 december,1984

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    What happended?????Story Behind the disaster

  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


    Factors leading to the magnitude of

    the gas leak include:

    During that night of December 2, a large amountof water entered Tank 610,' which contained 42

    tonnes of MIC, much more than the safety rules

    permitted. The reaction generated a major increase in the

    temperature inside the tank to over 200 degreeCelsius(actually MIC must be stored attemperatures below 40 C).

    This forced the emergency venting of pressurefrom the tank, releasing a large volume of toxic


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    The reaction was speeded up by the presence of iron from

    corroding pipelines. It is known that workers cleaned the

    pipelines with water but they were not told by the

    supervisor to add a slip-blind water isolation plate. Slip-

    blind plates that would have prevented water from pipesbeing cleaned from leaking into the MIC tanks through

    faulty valves were not installed.

    Because of this, and of the bad maintenance, the workers

    consider it possible for water to have accidentally enteredthe tank.

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    To reduce energy costs, the refrigeration system was idle. The MIC

    was kept at 20 degrees Celsius, not the 4.5 degrees advised by the


    Only one gas scrubber was operating: it could not treat such a large

    amount of MIC with sodium hydroxide(caustic soda), which would

    have brought the concentration down to a safe level.

    The MIC tank alarms had not worked for four years.

    The water pressure was too weak to spray the escaping gases from

    the stack. They could not spray high enough to reduce the

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    Another reason: Danger signs ignored

    Local journalist Rajkumar Keswanihad been warning that theCarbide plant was unsafe and thatits management was aware ofthis.

    In 1981, a gas leak had killed oneworker. In 1982, 25 workers were

    hospitalized after another gasleak. Dangerous amounts ofwater entered a tank containingmethyl isocyanate gas.

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    The sto ry d idn 't jus t begin on

    December 3 and end onDecember 4,1984. It is s ti l l


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  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


    About the company

    UCIL was the

    Indian subsidiary

    ofUnion CarbideCorporation


    Union Carbide a

    subsidiary of

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    Civil and criminal cases are pending in the UnitedStates District Court, Manhattan and the DistrictCourt of Bhopal, India, involving UCC, UCILemployees, and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO atthe time of the disaster.

    In June2010, seven ex-employees, including theformer UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopalof causing death by negligence and sentenced totwo years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000each, the maximum punishment allowed by law.

    An eighth former employee was also convicted,but died before judgment was passed.

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    Recent news:-Dow will sponsor London

    Olympics: British PM David Cameron

    Union Carbide still faces

    charges of culpable homicide

    in Bhopal in relation to the

    disaster. The activists claimed

    that the evidence includes US

    court documents that provethat Dow traded Union

    Carbide products in India,

    thus violating a 1992 court


    Ethically,Dow Chemicals

    must not be allowed tosponsor London 2012

    Olympics as it is a successor

    company of Union Carbide,

    which was responsible for the

    Bhopal gas tragedy.

  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy


  • 7/27/2019 Bhopal Gas Trajedy