The bhopal disaster

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the bhopal disaster

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The bhopal disaster

  1. 1. THE BHOPAL DISASTER
  2. 2. BACKGROUND  1970s • Indian Government permitted UCC (Union Carbide Corporation) to set up Sevin plant • Indian Government and public owned 49% stake in UCIL (UCC’s Indian subsidiary) • Plant built in Bhopal at central location and transport infrastructure  Late 1970s and early 1980s • Take “backward integration” MIC manufactured at Bhopal site • Drought cause drop in market demand for Sevin- safety and maintenance lax • Plant conformed to much laxer standards than sister plant in US • 5 minor accidents before Bhopal disaster
  3. 3. 3 December 1984
  4. 4. AFTERMATH  First responds • UCC tries to shift blame on UCIL sabotage • UCC refuses to provide chemical composition of gas or suggest proper medical treatment • The CEO Warren Anderson left India as soon as possible.  1985 • Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act which empowered the Govrt to act as legal proceedings victims • All cases transferred from US to India  1989 • UCC accepts moral responsibilities and settles out of court for US $470 million  2010 • All the appropriate people from UCIL -- officers and those who actually ran the plant on a daily basis -- have appeared to face charges. • Excluding UCC and Warren Anderson (the former CEO)
  5. 5. QUESTION • The Indian courts convicted eight individuals associated with the operations of UCIL. However, no manager f rom UCC, including Warren Anderson, was convicted. Do you believe that the blame lies solely with the Indian management? NO! UCC and Indian Government also have responsibilities. UCC 51% Indian Government 49%
  6. 6. THE TIMELINE ABOUT OWNERSHIP OF UCIL
  7. 7. WHAT FACTORS MIGHT HINDER THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF UCC MANAGERS? • The transfer of company shares • Government indirectly avoiding the subsequent responsibility • Incomplete legislation system in former
  8. 8. WHAT INDIAN GOVERNMENT DID IN AFTERMATH… • Anderson was arrested by Indian police, but he released after paid bail. • Indian government proceeded to file a suit in the courts in Bhopal, seeking damages in excess of US$300 million, excluding punitive damages, and the costs of the legal suit. • The government accepted out-of-course settlement for $470 million. • This amount remained with the government and was not distributed to the victims. • In 1990, Indian government permitted distribute $4 per month (200 rupees) for each victims. • In 1996 the Supreme Court of India reduced the charges against the accused to 'death by negligence', which carried a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment. • In 2001, Dow Chemical Company acquired UCC for $11.6 billion
  9. 9. QUESTION • Discuss the role of the Indian government in the aftermath of the Bhopal disaster. • Set up National Medical Commission • Provide finances and services to victims • Get serious about the criminal investigation • Initiate extradition proceedings against Anderson and other foreign accused. • Implement a speedy and equitable compensation distribution
  10. 10. METHYL ISOCYANATE (MIC) • Clear, colorless, sharp smelling liquid • Highly flammable • Volatile reaction with water in 10 minutes • Extremely toxic
  11. 11. WHAT CAUSE THIS TRAGEDY HAPPENED?
  12. 12. QUESTION What actions could have been taken to prevent such a tragedy? • Local government should have chemical industry safety regulations. • Local government needs to emphasis on inspection, training and emergency preparations. • Properly design chimneys, replace MIC. • Properly design and maintain of safety equipment. • Follow the safety regulations as same as plant in US. • Prepare an emergency plan and evacuate plan. • Has relevant policy prohibit build chemical plants near the residential area.
  13. 13. DISCUSSION QUESTION • What options, if any, do you believe are still available for the victims to pursue this case further?
  14. 14. FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE… • The court decision is 25 years after the even; • Most victims are dead; • Both governments want to close and also the acquisition The case is too hard to pursue further
  15. 15. THANK YOU
  16. 16. REFERENCE LIST Bhopal Informational Center. 2013. Union Carbide. http://www.bhopal.com/union- carbide-position-statements-on-the-curative-petition-and-related-filings DJRoidon777. 2011. Bhopal Gas Tragedy 1984. YouTube video, 2:26. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXDOzMRrKlo Kegan, Paul. 1985. The Export of Hazards: Transnational Corporations and Environmental Control Issues. London: Routledge. Willey RJ, Hendershot DC, andBerger S.2006. The Accident in Bhopal: Observations 2 0 Years Later. Orlando: AIChE Varma, Roil, and Daya R. Varma. 2005. “The Bhopal Disaster of 1984”. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 25: 37-45. doi: 10.1177/0270467604273822 Shrivastava, Paul, and George Simomkos. 1989. “Disaster Containment Strategies”. Journal of business strategy 10(5): 26-30. doi: 10.1108/eb060058

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