Bhopal, India Chemical Accident, 1984

Bhopal disaster, Warren Anderson (American businessman)

Just after midnight on December 3, 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India had a chemical leak accident. The chemical that was released into the air is called methyl isocyanate, or MIC, used to make pesticides. This chemical is tremendously harmful and fatal to humans, livestock, and crops. Only a short-term exposure may cause death or unfavorable health effects. The slums of Bhopal and its residents that surrounded the plant which were mostly affected by the gas suffered dearly. An estimated 8,000 people dead and about 300,000 more suffering from its effects. Bloated carcasses of cattle dotted the streets. Tree and plant leaves were yellow and brittle. "Corpses littered the streets and discovered behind locked doors, trapped in private death tombs" (Diamond 8). These victims had no warning what so ever. As families ran from their homes and away from the plant, they had no idea that the wind was carrying the gas cloud in the direction that they were traveling. The disaster effects on survivors are so great that the effects on generations to come are going to be serious and enduring. This could all have been avoided, if negligence and inattention didn't play a role in the Bhopal disaster of 1984.

Bhopal is the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh, which is located in India. Climate there varies from tropical heat to near-arctic cold. With fifty-five million people the average income is very low for most people in India. "This huge population means that much of India does not have the resources to meet the daily needs of its people. As a result, most of the country is plagued by desperate poverty" (10). The city of Bhopal is spread out randomly in the midst of gently sloping hills and valleys. South of the city are two lakes that supply Bhopal's water.

The city is outrageously crowded; taxis and horse pulled carts transport crowds of commuters. "Motorcycles and bicycles carry entire families. Cage-carts, drawn by bicycles, are crammed with schoolchildren on...
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