Bhopal Gas Tragedy – Disturbing Facts

Disturbing Facts

During the night of December 2–3, 1984, large amounts of water entered tank 610, containing 42 tons of methyl isocyanate. The resulting exothermic reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (392 °F), raising the pressure to a level the tank was not designed to withstand. This forced the emergency venting of pressure from the MIC holding tank, releasing a large volume of toxic gases into the atmosphere. The gases flooded the city of Bhopal, causing great panic as people woke up with a burning sensation in their lungs. Thousands died immediately from the effects of the gas and many were trampled in the panic.

During the night of December 2–3, 1984, large amounts of water entered tank 610, containing 42 tons of methyl isocyanate. The resulting exothermic reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (392 °F), raising the pressure to a level the tank was not designed to withstand. This forced the emergency venting of pressure from the MIC holding tank, releasing a large volume of toxic gases into the atmosphere. The gases flooded the city of Bhopal, causing great panic as people woke up with a burning sensation in their lungs. Thousands died immediately from the effects of the gas and many were trampled in the panic.

On 7 June 2010 seven former employees of the Union Carbide subsidiary, all Indian nationals and many in their 70s, were convicted of causing death by negligence and each sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Rs.1 lakh (US$2,124; €1,776). All were released on bail shortly after the verdict.

The Chairman and CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, had been arrested and released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Bhopal on December 7, 1984. The arrest, which took place at the airport, assured Anderson would meet no harm by the Bhopal community. Anderson was taken to Union Carbide’s house after which he was released six hours later on $2,100 bail and flown out on a government plane.
  • Medical staff were unprepared for the thousands of casualties.
  • Doctors and hospitals were not informed of proper treatment methods for MIC gas inhalation. They were told to simply give cough medicine and eye drops to their patients.
  • The gases immediately caused visible damage to the trees. Within a few days, all the leaves fell off.
  • 2,000 bloated animal carcasses had to be disposed of.
  • “Operation Faith”: On December 16, the tanks 611 and 619 were emptied of the remaining MIC. This led to a second mass evacuation from Bhopal.
  • Complaints of a lack of information or misinformation were widespread. The Bhopal plant medical doctor did not have proper information about the properties of the gases. An Indian Government spokesman said that “Carbide is more interested in getting information from us than in helping our relief work.”
  • As of 2008, UCC had not released information about the possible composition of the cloud.
  • Formal statements were issued that air, water, vegetation and foodstuffs were safe within the city. At the same time, people were informed that poultry was unaffected, but were warned not to consume fish.
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About Sushant Kumar
An explorer, an aspiring writer/poet.Also a doctoral student in marketing at IIM Lucknow working on brand communities and digital media.

10 Responses to Bhopal Gas Tragedy – Disturbing Facts

  1. its shame that we still havent done wot shud be done dor the people who lost their families in dis tragedy…mr anderson has been freed …its shocking that his concious nevr made him realse wot a great loss has he done to the humanity…well whether the governmnt sees or not god do.see …

  2. Evil Tom riddle says:

    Its a shame for the country that the victims of the tragedy have still not got justice….just because of corrupt political leaders..

  3. aseem says:

    thats a very use full information but i think you have to give some raesons such as chamical reaction which is risponcible for it and what product union carbide makes? is it under the low to store that kind of tocsic gas and plz hylight the topic on people who gets the un nesessory benefit of gas kand

  4. Praffulit Bisht says:

    Bhopal Gas Tragedy was actually a result of multi-dimensional failure. On one hand the parent company(UCC), its Indian subsidiary(UCIL,Union Carbide India Ltd.) and the plant team are the direct culprits in this case,on the other hand all those who indirectly tried to protect these culprits are equally to be blamed. it includes the then Hon’b Chief minister Mr. Arjun Singh, the then District Magistrate of Bhopal, the then Minister of Home Affairs at the center and even our then prime minister late Mr.Rajiv Gandhi.
    letting off of warren anderson, the main culprit, in this case is the most shocking thing that had happened. This shows a complete failure of the administration. Moreover dilution of the charges against those held responsible came as anoyher shock.
    i am unable to understand how the government which has the duty to protect its citizens failed on so many counts….
    may be those in the government ,our so called “representatives”,might have changed thier sides….from poor people to rich industrial giants…
    this is totally unacceptable….

  5. Pingback: Supreme Court Failed the People-Bhopal Gas Tragedy. « Ramani's blog

  6. aDi says:

    Indian gov should not leave mr anderson while bhopal still awaits justice. hope this kinda tragedy does not occurr again anywhere in the world

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