Bhopal Gas Tragedy Essay

1749 words - 7 pages

Disasters happen when multinational corporations though having enormous resources tend to look the other side when most of the people are uneducated and their governments do not care for them and their safety and laws are usually bent if not broken by the corporations for their benefit.On the night at around 1 a.m. on Monday, December 3, 1984, when most of the people were at home sleeping, a deadly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked out from the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) plant in Bhopal, India. Senior factory officials who already knew about the lethal build-up in the tank before the leakage did not raise the alarm to warn the neighborhood until one hour after the leakage started. In only one hour the poisonous gas covered an area of 40 sq.kms. The people woke up choking their eyes and mouth burning and vomiting. Nobody knew what had happened. They started running away from there houses for their life but by then it was too late.Of the 800,000 people living in Bhopal, it had been estimated that 3000 people died immediately, and 300,000 were injured and about 1000 animals killed. The government's estimated figure was approximately 3,800 people died in this accident but no one knows how many thousands died that day. Those who fell were not picked up by anybody; they just kept falling, and were trampled on by other people. People climbed and scrambled over each other's to save their lives - even cows which were running trying to save their lives also crushed people as they ran. The whole area was covered with the fog of MIC gas. The Municipal worker's who picked up the bodies and loaded them onto the government trucks estimated that they shifted at least 15000 bodies. Survivors based their estimates on the number of shrouds sold in the city, claimed that about 8000 people died in the fist week of tragedy. Such body count kept on changing the figures regularly and continues to do so even today because till this date the dying has never stopped.Many studies made after the tragedy still show that the survivors are suffering from physical disorders like blindness, gastrointestinal disorders, impaired immune system, traumatic stress, and menstrual problems in women. Also there is a rise of abortion, still birth, and offspring with genetic defects. Current unofficial estimates suggest that at least 120,000 survivors suffer from one or more of these problems.Many investigations and studies were conducted after the incident to identify the cause of this accident, which includes Union carbide India limited, Engineering consulting firm Arthur D. Little, and Indian Government led by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Madhya Pradesh state Government. Almost every investigation reached the same conclusion that the gas leak could have been caused by deliberate sabotage though there are many facts which do not corroborate this conclusion. They concluded that large quantity of water entered the storage tank containing 40 cubic meters of MIC and when the water and MIC mixed, it caused a massive chemical reaction resulting in tremendous increase in temperature and pressure in the tank and due to this reaction and pressure the safely valve of the tank burst and 20 to 30 tons of MIC gas leaked out of the plant and spread over the atmosphere forming a poisonous gas fog killing many people. Union Carbide says that the tragedy took place when a plant employee, apparently bent on spoiling a batch of MIC, added water to a storage tank though this was never independently proved. The experts in industrial safety believe that the accident might have been avoided if proper safety equipments and trained workers had been used in the chemical industry. The Bhopal plant experienced six accidents prior to this accident from 1981 to 1984, but the accidents were small to have been noticed by the people in general. In 1981 one worker was also killed but no further action was taken to avoid the disaster which was brewing in the future.After waiting for months for the justice to be done the people of Bhopal started pressurizing the Indian government. In response to that the Indian government filed a compensation lawsuit against Union Carbide Corporation for $3 billion. And on the other hand, Union Carbide blamed the Indian Government for the accident and on December 1986 the Union Carbide corp., filed a countersuit against the Indian Government saying that Indian Government is equally responsible for the accident because they already knew about the toxicity of MIC but have not taken any steps to prevent the accident. In May 1989, Union Carbide and Union Carbide India limited entered into a $470 million legal settlement with the Indian government. The decision of settlement of $470 million was made and described the amount as reasonable for the victims and tried to settle all claims. Ten days after the decision was made, Union Carbide and Union Carbide India limited paid $470 million to Indian Government and the whole amount was covered by insurance. After receiving the whole amount of compensation Indian Government had not taken any effective action to make sure that this compensation money reached the people. To this day only $166 million of it has been given to the people of Bhopal and the rest sits in a bank account in Delhi, India. In 1991 state government of Madhya Pradesh charged culpable homicide on Chairmen of Union Carbide Warren M. Anderson, but he went back to USA and refused to appear before the Indian courts. If he is found guilty, he could serve up to 20 years in prison. This shows the apathy of the international community to make the corporations liable for the hazards they pose to the people and environment.India a predominantly agriculture based society needed pesticides for its agricultural production and MIC which is used to produce pesticides was imported from USA. Hence India invited Union Carbide to set up a plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and the license was issued by the Government and people of Bhopal and Government thought that this new plant will provide new jobs and also increase the food production. But, nobody ever realized that this dream of jobs and added produce will come with such a price.In 1994, Union Carbide sold its entire interest in UCIL to Macleod Russell Limited; they renamed the company as Eveready Industries India, Limited (EIIL).In 1998, the state government of Madhya Pradesh revoked EIIL's lease and took possession of the facility and publicly assumed all accountability for the site, including the completion of further remediation. In 2001, Michigan-based chemical corporation Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide. But Dow Chemical has refused to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water, compensate the victims, or disclose the composition of the gas leak, and information that doctors could use to properly treat the victims.According to Greenpeace report the site where disaster took place is still highly contaminated by toxic chemicals. Greenpeace is a non-profit organization and is present in more than 40 countries across the Europe, Asia and the Pacific. It is a global organizational which works against the environmental degradation since 1971. In its report entitled "Bhopal Gas tragedy" Greenpeace says that the factory site is still contaminated by toxic chemicals such as mercury and organochlorines. Some of organochlorines were also found in the ground water supplied to nearby area. The levels of mercury found in the sample taken from the factory were between 20,000 to 6 million times higher than normal levels. Greenpeace declared the Union Carbide as a Global toxic hotspot and called Union Carbide to clean up the toxic material left back in 1984. In an attempt to take the sample of water in the nearby site the Greenpeace has taken some samples of groundwater from a hand pump in Atal AYUB Nagar (neighborhood) along the northwest corner of the factory ,in which concentration of carbon tetrachloride was very high that it exceeded the limits set by World Health organization by 1705 times. Chloroform also found in the same sample exceeded the USEPA standards for drinking water by 260 times. Carbon tetrachloride a substance which can cause cancer was also found in drinking water. According to the report they also found chlorinated chemicals in well water near the Carbide plant and it happened due to long-term industrial contamination of surrounding environment by this plant. The report clarified that further consumption of this contaminated water will cause significant health problems. The contaminated condition of the Union Carbide site is a prime example of corporate irresponsibility and the inability or unwillingness of Governments to rein in corporations at the cost of public safety and environmental health. Some of the chemicals found at the Carbide factory are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that do not degrade easily in the environment and are capable of causing long-term and debilitating damage to life. In a separate 2002 study, it was found that mercury, lead and organochlorines are present in the breast milk of women living near the plant. The children of gas-affected women are facing health problem like debilitating illnesses, including retardation, birth defects, and reproductive disorders.A further point to consider when judging the Government's record on Bhopal is its proposal to use $150 million of the original compensation payment on the richer non-gas-affected areas of Bhopal, populated mainly by wealthy Hindus presumably to gain votes for the ruling Hindu nationalist party, the BJP at the expense of the poor and disenfranchised gas victims. If it were not for mass demonstrations by the victims last July, both of these proposals would, no doubt, would have become reality.Yet, Campaigners and volunteers continue to work hard from 21 years after the disaster, to help the gas victims secure medical treatment and


Political Issue in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy

486 words - 2 pages In India, Union Carbide was a high-profile multinational company. A measure of that prominence was attributable to the role UCC and UCIL had played in the "Indianization" of industry in that country. UCC had been one of the first multinationals to invest in India, demonstrating willingness to offer expertise, readiness to comply with Indian laws, and acceptance of a gradual approach to developing Indian consumer markets. Union Carbide's

Literary Analysis - Hills like White Elephants - WR 303 - Literary Analysis

1555 words - 7 pages 1 Madison Evans Jake Sauvageau WR 303 Literary Analysis 8/30/18 Ernest Hemingway’s Hills like White Elephants The short story Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway is a story about a man and woman who are sitting at a bar at a small train station somewhere in Spain. They seem to be having a heated conversation about a mysterious “operation”. The author never explicitly says what the issue is between the man and woman, but it can be

An Analysis of Walter Freeman, Father of the Lobotomy - NKU HNR 151H - Essay

1433 words - 6 pages 1 Brandell Hannah Brandell Prof. Tamara O’Callaghan ENG151H-007 5 May 2017 Walter Freeman and the Invention of the Lobotomy In Steely Library’s digital archives, one of the postcards from the Gilliam family collection is entitled Western Kentucky Asylum for the Insane, Hopkinsville, KY. The postcard dates back to 1915 and portrays a beautiful building, complete with red bricks and white columns. Many of the insane asylums around this time were

Lost Treasure, A story about a psychopathic father - Amity college 11BB - Creative Story

1130 words - 5 pages Lost Treasure When I was a child, my late father and I would spend every moment of the summer season on the sparkling white sand of the beach near our home. We would dance, kicking up the shiny surface so that the droplets glimmered like diamonds in the sunlight. We would lie on our backs and stare at the sky, until the swirling clouds began to take on our imaginative shapes mingled together by our fantastical minds. We would grip imaginary

robotics revolution represent for human employment in New Zealand in the next 30 years - massey university - management

1357 words - 6 pages Rebecca Hastie 11256694 How much of a threat does the robotics revolution represent for human employment in New Zealand in the next 30 years? In order to understand the threats that robotics may pose to human employment in the future, it is important to examine the ways in which robots and computerization are already influencing different employment industries today, and how they have changed our labor practices in the past. If this information

A review of “Indigenous remain ‘asset rich, dirt poor’ 25 years after Mabo”. - ANU - literature review

1115 words - 5 pages Free A review of “Indigenous remain ‘asset rich, dirt poor’ 25 years after Mabo”. In the article “Indigenous remain ‘asset rich, dirt poor’ 25 years after Mabo”, Indigenous affairs editor, Fitzpatrick (2017) presents the socioeconomic situation of the Aboriginal people, using the views of the former prime minister’s advisor, Josephine Cashman. Miss Cashman pointed out that the promises made to the indigenous people, presented in the Mabo case, had not

Comparison of Tom and Jay from Great Gatsby - English - Essay

749 words - 3 pages Annie Shepherd-Barron, Luxmoore Comparison Between the Portrayal of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby in Chapters 1 to 6 Fitzgerald purposefully portrays Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan in contrasting ways to emphasise the variety of money within the American market, during the era in which the novel is set. A major difference between the two men is ‘new money’ and ‘old money’, where Gatsby represents ‘new money’, but Daisy and Tom represent ‘old money

term project of marketing strategy - global business management 1 st semester - essay

405 words - 2 pages Boston Pizza Boston Pizza is a Canadian fast food restaurant, which began in Edmonton, Alberta, on August 12, 1964. The restaurant had begun operations on 17 different locations in western Canada by 1970. In 1968 a royal Canadian mounted police officer Jim treliving noticed the growing popularity of Boston pizza and he bought the rights to start a restaurant in British Colombia. He was the first franchisees of Boston pizza. At present, Boston

The advantages and disadvantages of social media - Bucks County Community College - essay

830 words - 4 pages Sioe Liang Ngeow ( Caden ) Alan Rubin COMP110.N12 15 June 2017 Wisely Use Of Social Media In the era of modernity, the application of technology is already inevitable, especially the use of social media. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have come into widespread use globally. As we all know, Mark Zuckerberg, as the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook is ranked as one of the top ten wealthiest people in the world

Pet Peeves Public Speaking Speech - Public Speaking - Speech

506 words - 3 pages ​I’m​ ​not​ ​usually​ ​the​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​person​ ​to​ ​express​ ​when​ ​things​ ​annoy​ ​me--other​ ​than​ ​rolling​ ​my​ ​eyes,​ ​but​ ​there are​ ​actually​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​things​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​like.​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​say​ ​I’m​ ​not​ ​guilty​ ​for​ ​some​ ​major​ ​pet​ ​peeves,​ ​like​ ​always​ ​being late,​ ​but​ ​here​ ​are​ ​my​ ​pet​ ​peeves​ ​that​ ​people​ ​should​ ​really​ ​work​ ​on. This​ ​one​ ​goes​ ​out​ ​to​ ​my​ ​mom…​ ​Yes

math Algebra Define Variable 1 Math - Algebra 1 - Algebra 1

868 words - 4 pages Evaluate each expression when y = 6. 1. 7 – y = 2. y – 3 = 3. 6 + y = 4. y + 2 = 5. y – 2 = 6. y – 1 = 7. 7 + y = 8. y + 8 = 9. 3 + y = 10. y + 4 = Evaluate each expression when y = 4. 11. y + 5 = 12. y – 7 = 13. 2 – y = 14. 7 – y = 15. 9 – y = 16. y + 6 = 17. 6 – y = 18. y – 5 = 19. y + 4 = 20. y + 9 = Evaluate each expression when y = 8. 21. y + 5 = 22. y – 8 = 23. 2 – y = 24. 6 – y = 25. y – 1 = 26. y – 9 = 27. 4 + y = 28. 1 + y = 29. 9 – y

home automation haow its work in the society - speech comunication - home automation

1618 words - 7 pages Free Introduccion A home automation system typically connects controlled devices to a central hub or "gateway". The user interface for control of the system uses either wall-mounted terminals, tablet or desktop computers, a mobile phone application, or a Web interface, that may also be accessible off-site through the Internet. Also it will control lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. It may also include home security such as

Intercultural essay on my culture - mesa high - essay

599 words - 3 pages Lopez 1 Lopez 4 Danielle Lopez Michelle Young COM 263: 18FA5689 9 September 2018 My Personal Culture The Hispanic culture has different values, beliefs, and traditions. Family is highly value. Family is a close-knit group and the most important social group to gather in any events or special days. The Hispanic “family unit” includes not only parents and children but also grandparents and extended family. Individuals within the family have moral

History Paper for Us History Class - US History , Hudson County Community College - Essau

2229 words - 9 pages /11 attacks brought mourning, fear and depression to Americans and international citizens. The whole world felt that the attack made on the USA was the attack on freedom and liberties everywhere. That was an event that brought changes to the whole world. The effects of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks last until today. The 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero was opened ten years later after the tragedy to commemorate the events on September 11, 2001

Be your true self no matter what people think of you. - Trevor Highschool english 5 - essay

450 words - 2 pages Lopez Jose Lopez Mrs. karen 14 september 2017 Be your true self Fredrich Nietzche once said “The individual has always struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the the privilege of owning yourself.” In my opinion, I believe this quote is true. Many people feel like they have to be a certain way for society to like them. When in reality, they