BHOPALDISASTERA huge cloud ofpoisonous gas 500times more toxic thancyanide spewed from afactory belonging toUnion CarbideCorporation.
DECEMBER 3RD, 1984 Workers at a Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopalwere flushing pipes with clean water. Water entered atank filled with methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, a gasused in the production of pesticides. The water set off achemical reaction which caused pressure to rise insidethe tank, forcing workers to vent the tank before itexploded, and a large quantity of the lethal gas wasreleased into Bhopal. It also became apparent thatother gases in addition to MIC were released, includingphosgene and hydrogen cyanide.http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-bhopal-disaster.htm
DEATHS estimated two to eightthousand people were killedwithin a few days Most of them suffocatedfrom gasinhalation, experiencingpainful respiratorysymptoms, eye pain, andbrain swelling before death. It is estimated that anadditional eight thousandpeople died of the effects ofprolonged gas exposure in theyears following the BhopalDisaster, and up to 100,000more may be affected with avariety of conditions includingchronic respiratoryconditions, birthdefects, neurologicalproblems, depressed immunesystems, and cardiacmalfunction
ACCIDENT? Independent investigationby (engineering consultingfirm) Arthur D. Littledetermined that the watercould only have beenintroduced into the tankdeliberately, since processsafety systems -- in placeand operational -- wouldhave prevented water fromentering the tank byaccident.
Union Carbide• Paid settlements to the citizens of Bhopal• About $370-$533 a person estimating around $470million total• Government of India wanted to charge the CEO of thecompany with homicide and grievous assault• A warrant was issued for his arrest
TODAY Site of the disaster is stillheavily contaminatedwith poisoned soil andgroundwater which is ahealth threat to thecitizens of the area. More than 20,000 peoplestill live in the vicinity of thefactory and are exposed totoxic chemicals throughgroundwater and soilcontamination. A whole newgeneration continues to getsick, from cancer and birthdefects to everyday impactsof aches andpains, rashes, fevers, eruptions ofboils, headaches, nausea, lack of appetite, dizziness, andconstant exhaustion
WHAT DID THEY DO TO HELP? Union carbide cleaned up and sold their company in1994. they changed their name to Eveready Industriesand continued clean up until 1998. Paid settlements to victims and acquired a medicalinsurance policy to cover 100,000 people who mightlater develop symptoms shown to have resulted frombeing exposed during the gas release