The Summary of Bhopal Disaster

Topics: Bhopal disaster, Bhopal, Union Carbide Pages: 3 (711 words) Published: October 11, 2012
The Union Carbide plant was established in Bhopal in 1969 and it began to produce the insecticide Carbaryl. methyl isocanyte is an ingredient of carbaryl, and on the morning of December 3, 1984, a holding tank containing 43 tons of methyl isocyanate overheated and released the toxic gas. Because methyl isocyanate is heavier than air, it traveled over the ground through the Bhopal city center. The transportation system collapsed, and many people were trampled to death in a mad rush to flee the visible gases. In total, 15,000 people died and 150,000-600,000 people were injured. The contamination and deaths were a result of numerous factors: * Recent documents obtained through discovery in the course of a lawsuit against Union Carbide for environmental contamination (before a New York Federal District Court) revealed that Carbide had exported "untested, unproven technology" to the Indian plant. Unlike Union Carbide plants in the USA, its Indian subsidiary plants were not prepared for problems. No action plans had been established to cope with incidents of this magnitude. This included not informing local authorities of the dangers of chemicals used and manufactured at Bhopal. * Reports issued months before the incident by scientists within the Union Carbide corporation warned of the possibility of an accident almost identical to that which occurred in Bhopal. The reports were ignored outright and never made it to senior staff. Due to falling sales, staff had been laid off and safety checks became less and less frequent. * Slip-blind plates that would have prevented water from pipes being cleaned from leaking into the MIC tanks via faulty valves were not installed. Their installation had been omitted from the cleaning checklist. * At the time of the event, the MIC tank refrigeration unit was disabled to save money, and some of its coolant was being used elsewhere. A simple press of a button in the control room would have activated it to at least use the...
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