• Indian Government permitted UCC (Union Carbide Corporation) to set up Sevin
• 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
• 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.
• Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act which empowered the Govrt to act as legal proceedings
• All cases transferred from US to India
• UCC accepts moral responsibilities and settles out of court for US $470 million
• 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)
• 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
WHAT FACTORS MIGHT HINDER THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF
• The transfer of company shares
• Government indirectly avoiding the subsequent responsibility
• Incomplete legislation system in former
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
• 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'
• In 2001, Dow Chemical Company acquired UCC for $11.6 billion
• Discuss the role of the Indian government in the aftermath of the
• 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
METHYL ISOCYANATE (MIC)
• Clear, colorless, sharp smelling liquid
• Highly flammable
• Volatile reaction with water in 10 minutes
• Extremely toxic
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
• 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.
• What options, if any, do you believe are still
available for the victims to pursue this case
FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE…
• The court decision is 25 years after the even;
• Most victims are dead;
• Both governments want to close and also the
The case is too hard to pursue further
Bhopal Informational Center. 2013. Union Carbide. http://www.bhopal.com/union-
DJRoidon777. 2011. Bhopal Gas Tragedy 1984. YouTube video, 2:26.
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
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Shrivastava, Paul, and George Simomkos. 1989. “Disaster Containment Strategies”.
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