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Reasons The cause was the contamination of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) storage tank No.

610 with water carrying catalytic material. The result was a nightmare that still has no end. Residents awoke to clouds of suffocating gas and began a desperate flight through the dark streets. No alarm ever sounded a warning and no evacuation plan was prepared. When victims arrived at hospitals breathless and blind, do doctors did not know how to treat them since Carbide had not provided emergency information. But it was only when the sun rose the next morning that the magnitude of the devastation was clear In October 1982 a mixture of MIC, chloroform and hydrochloric acid escaped from the Bhopal plant endangering the neighbouring community and injuring a few workers. This incident made very clear the potential public risks but in spite of the insistence of Carbide officials for safety precautions there was still no action taken. In addition, the following were major contributors to the disaster:
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Gradual but sustained erosion of good maintenance practices. Declining quality of technical training of plant personnel, especially its supervisory staff. Depleting inventories of vital spares. An indiscriminate economy drive that starved the plant of necessary capital replacement and produced general staff demoralisation. An exodus of some of the more experienced and able engineers and operators from the factory. Last but not the least, increasing under manning of important work stations in many parts of the plant.

It is presented as the culmination of a massive research project. even for the Company. under ." This is an enunciation from the foxhole of legal defense. Union Carbide officials at their Danbury headquarters were telling the press and public that they would require two to three weeks to determine and report upon the cause of the disaster. Ten weeks later they had provided no account of it and were carefully maintaining secrecy. It hints. They proliferate.Cause and effect Causes and Negligence The day after the killer cloud struck Bhopal. Pests destroy crops. I don't think you have to reconstruct what the people in India did. the Chairman of the Board said: "Our report is restricted to what happened in those tanks. the first news of the Union Carbide report reaching India on March 21 indicates that it is the kind of technical report whose premises are concealed -intending thereby to focus blame upon purely technical negligence and personal negligence at the Bhopal site. and asserted that the Union Carbide experts were not even allowed to speak to their Indian workers. Furthermore. It appears to reflect on-thespot investigation after the accident. In fact. promptly government officials at Bhopal denied that the American team had been allowed entry into the pesticides unit." Probably this report will be more helpful. moreover. spread disease. at the possibility of sabotage. My aim here is of course broader: "to reconstruct what the people in India did" and to "deal with how things were done in India (and America) from a managerial or a personal standpoint. Then again they promised the report in two or three weeks. a deliberate act in releasing water into Tank 610. Our report will not deal with how things were done in India from a managerial or a personal standpoint. It tells us to expect a technical report of limited scope. The ultimate cause of pesticide accidents is the pest. denied that the Indian Central Bureau of Investigations had given them any access to relevant materials. and convey endless annoyances.

He is known to authorities and Union Carbide and has been mentioned in the press. pesticides are continuously in the process of invention. the "trigger-man. For legal and journalistic purposes. The lag is brought on by dislike of losing one's investments in old techniques as well as by the time required for rendering an invention practical on a large scale. Invention is a human non-genetic change. so many that practically everyone whose behavior is mentioned in this report can. too. These show the factory layout and .pesticide pressure. it is as well to begin with the worker. be placed in the network of causes with some justification. poisonous to humans as well as to pests. Perhaps this needs be said because in the Bhopal case one perceives both the pressure of new pesticidal inventions and equipment and the resistance to scrapping investments in old formulas. a disproportionate amount of attention is invariably to be given to the immediate cause. pipes. a time lag occurs before the adoption of new types of pesticides and techniques. they also may change genetically to defend themselves. and procedures. machines. He would be the worker who fitted a water hose into a pipe that sent or leaked water into Tank 610. These. Means of combating pests are numerous and the most effective of them have been toxins in a form for wide dissemination. he comes upon many a closer cause. for purposes of delineating the chain of causation. As one works closer to the tragedy from such remote causes. may be termed causes of the tragedy. Such a "trigger-man" appears to exist. plants. 1985. and toxic chemicals in which our supposed "trigger-man" was to be found working that night may best be conveyed by a set of diagrams." whoever committed the "one" act without which no gas would have escaped and the City of Bhopal would have rested in peace during the night of December 2-3. As with all inventions. The complex of buildings. However. whether he wishes so or not. What the American Chairman of Union Carbide implied of himself after the accident is true of this worker as well: our problem is not solved by nailing him to the wall.

Our report will not deal with how things were done in India from a managerial or a personal standpoint. The day after the killer cloud struck Bhopal. The MIC storage tank (Figure 3) and the vent gas scrubber (Figure 4). A stainless steel tank emplaced in concrete contained probably 45 tons of liquid MIC. Then again they promised the report in two or three weeks. with the night shift due at 10:45 and not much going on. ." This is an enunciation from the foxhole of legal defense. Ten weeks later they had provided no account of it and were carefully maintaining secrecy. I don't think you have to reconstruct what the people in India did." Most probably.neighboring area (Figure 2). Sometime after 9:00 P. two months before. the Chairman of the Board said: "Our report is restricted to what happened in those tanks. and for reasons unknown. It was the simplest of occurrences : a tank of volatile liquid. The MIC.M. The path of the gas cloud vented above the scrubber has already been shown (Figure 1) as it affected the City of Bhopal. The Union Carbide Manual calls MIC (CH3N = C = O) "an extremely hazardous chemical. Furthermore. Union Carbide officials at their Danbury headquarters were telling the press and public that they would require two to three weeks to determine and report upon the cause of the disaster.. It is also "extremely flammable. the "trigger-man" was taking a cup of tea at the company canteen. and the explosion formed a cloud which blew downwind over Bhopal. a violent reaction with water. He had less than the background and training originally required to fill his job as an operator. had been transferred into the unit that makes and stores MIC. not a leak. The event was a constrained explosion.. by all means of contact" and regards it "as an oral and contact poison" even though it is not classified among poisons. It tells us to expect a technical report of limited scope. which reacts violently with water. turned into an explosive gas vapor that blew out the valves in its path. a prolonged explosion of gas through a pipe and out. water got into the tank through a pipe. He had worked for seven years at the plant.

Pests destroy crops. My aim here is of course broader: "to reconstruct what the people in India did" and to "deal with how things were done in India (and America) from a managerial or a personal standpoint. a time lag occurs before the adoption of new types of pesticides and techniques. Invention is a human non-genetic change. It hints. and procedures. they also may change genetically to defend themselves. moreover. The ultimate cause of pesticide accidents is the pest. and convey endless annoyances. the first news of the Union Carbide report reaching India on March 21 indicates that it is the kind of technical report whose premises are concealed -intending thereby to focus blame upon purely technical negligence and personal negligence at the Bhopal site.In fact. denied that the Indian Central Bureau of Investigations had given them any access to relevant materials. They proliferate. even for the Company. Perhaps this needs be said because in the Bhopal case one perceives both the pressure of new pesticidal inventions and equipment and the resistance to scrapping investments in old formulas. It appears to reflect on-thespot investigation after the accident. These. Means of combating pests are numerous and the most effective of them have been toxins in a form for wide dissemination. may be termed causes of the tragedy. and asserted that the Union Carbide experts were not even allowed to speak to their Indian workers. promptly government officials at Bhopal denied that the American team had been allowed entry into the pesticides unit. spread disease. poisonous to humans as well as to pests. It is presented as the culmination of a massive research project. As with all inventions. The lag is brought on by dislike of losing one's investments in old techniques as well as by the time required for rendering an invention practical on a large scale. plants. pesticides are continuously in the process of invention. under pesticide pressure." Probably this report will be more helpful. . at the possibility of sabotage. too. a deliberate act in releasing water into Tank 610.

The MIC. A stainless steel tank emplaced in concrete contained probably 45 tons of liquid MIC.. pipes. and the explosion formed a cloud which blew downwind over Bhopal. He would be the worker who fitted a water hose into a pipe that sent or leaked water into Tank 610. whether he wishes so or not. The Union Carbide Manual calls MIC (CH3N = C = O) "an extremely hazardous chemical. be placed in the network of causes with some justification. The complex of buildings. However.As one works closer to the tragedy from such remote causes. . and toxic chemicals in which our supposed "trigger-man" was to be found working that night may best be conveyed by a set of diagrams. machines. so many that practically everyone whose behavior is mentioned in this report can. for purposes of delineating the chain of causation." whoever committed the "one" act without which no gas would have escaped and the City of Bhopal would have rested in peace during the night of December 2-3." Most probably. It was the simplest of occurrences : a tank of volatile liquid. It is also "extremely flammable. by all means of contact" and regards it "as an oral and contact poison" even though it is not classified among poisons. 1985. turned into an explosive gas vapor that blew out the valves in its path. The MIC storage tank (Figure 3) and the vent gas scrubber (Figure 4). which reacts violently with water. He is known to authorities and Union Carbide and has been mentioned in the press. For legal and journalistic purposes. a disproportionate amount of attention is invariably to be given to the immediate cause. a violent reaction with water. These show the factory layout and neighboring area (Figure 2). water got into the tank through a pipe. What the American Chairman of Union Carbide implied of himself after the accident is true of this worker as well: our problem is not solved by nailing him to the wall. The event was a constrained explosion. not a leak. a prolonged explosion of gas through a pipe and out. it is as well to begin with the worker. the "trigger-man. Such a "trigger-man" appears to exist. he comes upon many a closer cause. The path of the gas cloud vented above the scrubber has already been shown (Figure 1) as it affected the City of Bhopal.

had been transferred into the unit that makes and stores MIC. a deliberate act in releasing water into Tank 610. the first news of the Union Carbide report reaching India on March 21 indicates that it is the kind of technical report whose premises are concealed -intending thereby to focus blame upon purely technical negligence and personal negligence at the Bhopal site. . Union Carbide officials at their Danbury headquarters were telling the press and public that they would require two to three weeks to determine and report upon the cause of the disaster. He had less than the background and training originally required to fill his job as an operator. It hints. at the possibility of sabotage. The day after the killer cloud struck Bhopal. and asserted that the Union Carbide experts were not even allowed to speak to their Indian workers. even for the Company. My aim here is of course broader: "to reconstruct what the people in India did" and to "deal with how things were done in India (and America) from a managerial or a personal standpoint. and for reasons unknown. the "trigger-man" was taking a cup of tea at the company canteen. Then again they promised the report in two or three weeks. It is presented as the culmination of a massive research project.M." This is an enunciation from the foxhole of legal defense. Our report will not deal with how things were done in India from a managerial or a personal standpoint. In fact. He had worked for seven years at the plant. promptly government officials at Bhopal denied that the American team had been allowed entry into the pesticides unit. I don't think you have to reconstruct what the people in India did. denied that the Indian Central Bureau of Investigations had given them any access to relevant materials." Probably this report will be more helpful. moreover. with the night shift due at 10:45 and not much going on. the Chairman of the Board said: "Our report is restricted to what happened in those tanks.Sometime after 9:00 P. It appears to reflect on-thespot investigation after the accident. Ten weeks later they had provided no account of it and were carefully maintaining secrecy. It tells us to expect a technical report of limited scope. two months before. Furthermore..

Such a "trigger-man" appears to exist. Pests destroy crops. 1985. he comes upon many a closer cause. for purposes of delineating the chain of causation. However. they also may change genetically to defend themselves. As with all inventions. Means of combating pests are numerous and the most effective of them have been toxins in a form for wide dissemination. under pesticide pressure. For legal and journalistic purposes. so many that practically everyone whose behavior is mentioned in this report can. poisonous to humans as well as to pests. spread disease.The ultimate cause of pesticide accidents is the pest. He is known to authorities and Union Carbide and has been mentioned in the press. As one works closer to the tragedy from such remote causes. These. too. Perhaps this needs be said because in the Bhopal case one perceives both the pressure of new pesticidal inventions and equipment and the resistance to scrapping investments in old formulas. pesticides are continuously in the process of invention. it is as well to begin with the worker. whether he wishes so or not. a disproportionate amount of attention is invariably to be given to the immediate cause. plants. . the "trigger-man. a time lag occurs before the adoption of new types of pesticides and techniques. Invention is a human non-genetic change. and convey endless annoyances. They proliferate. He would be the worker who fitted a water hose into a pipe that sent or leaked water into Tank 610. may be termed causes of the tragedy. The lag is brought on by dislike of losing one's investments in old techniques as well as by the time required for rendering an invention practical on a large scale. be placed in the network of causes with some justification. What the American Chairman of Union Carbide implied of himself after the accident is true of this worker as well: our problem is not solved by nailing him to the wall. and procedures." whoever committed the "one" act without which no gas would have escaped and the City of Bhopal would have rested in peace during the night of December 2-3.

water got into the tank through a pipe. the "trigger-man" was taking a cup of tea at the company canteen. The Union Carbide Manual calls MIC (CH3N = C = O) "an extremely hazardous chemical.M. pipes. machines. The MIC. a prolonged explosion of gas through a pipe and out. The event was a constrained explosion. by all means of contact" and regards it "as an oral and contact poison" even though it is not classified among poisons. and the explosion formed a cloud which blew downwind over Bhopal. and toxic chemicals in which our supposed "trigger-man" was to be found working that night may best be conveyed by a set of diagrams. which reacts violently with water. The path of the gas cloud vented above the scrubber has already been shown (Figure 1) as it affected the City of Bhopal. He had worked for seven years at the plant. turned into an explosive gas vapor that blew out the valves in its path. had been transferred into the unit that makes and stores MIC.. Sometime after 9:00 P. a violent reaction with water. A stainless steel tank emplaced in concrete contained probably 45 tons of liquid MIC.The complex of buildings. These show the factory layout and neighboring area (Figure 2). not a leak. It was the simplest of occurrences : a tank of volatile liquid. with the night shift due at 10:45 and not much going on. It is also "extremely flammable. He had less than the background and training originally required to fill his job as an operator. and for reasons unknown. The MIC storage tank (Figure 3) and the vent gas scrubber (Figure 4). two months before. .." Most probably.

The simplistic of all necessities. The production operations center continues to leak poisonous chemicals and heavy metals. Courts and placed under Indian Jurisdiction to compensate those affected and injured.S. India. After autopsies were performed.200. The poisonous plume cloud was principally composed of materials that was denser than the surrounding air consequently stayed close the ground. tubular necrosis of the kidneys. and their eyes burning.Aftermath and Health Affects In the aftermath of the poisonous cloud on December 7th 1984 a multi-billion dollar lawsuit was field. water. MIC breaks the walls of the lungs causing people to ooze white foam from their mouth causing many to drown in their own bodily fluids.J. affecting children that went running though some of the densest patches. amidst the gas leak (“Health Effects of the Toxic” 1994). cerebral oedema. As the gas cloud continued to set in individuals struggled for air. Other deaths were caused relexogenic circulatory collapse and pulmonary oedema. fatty degeneration of the liver and necrotising enteritis (Willey RJ.). the tragedy revealed the changes to the lungs. vomiting violently. Union Carbide Corporation discontinued investment operations following the tragedy and has also failed to clean up the industrial site completely. Pregnant women amidst the devastations suffered convolutions and extreme stomach pains. In 1984 the Union Carbide Corporation was worth $10 billion dollars more than what it’s worth today and currently operates under DOW Chemical (Union Carbide. Ultimately the legal fractions were moved from the U. According to the BBC the average amount paid to the families of the dead was only $2. Union Carbide Corporation made every effort to manipulate and withhold of scientific data to deter those affected. Also as a further insult to Bhopal. Stillbirth rate increased by 300% and neonatal mortality rate also increased by 200%. Many women ended up miscarrying. Today the company still has not made public of the exact composition of the poisonous plume cloud. The American attorney who had filed the case in U.J. The exothermic reaction triggered numerous short term health and long term health effects for the people of Bhopal. Court was the first beginning of decades of legal fractions.S.). The Indian Supreme Court arbitrated a settlement with Union Carbide Corporation for a lump sum of $470 Million which was to be distributed to the claimants as a full and final settlement. has to be shipped because these poisonous chemicals have found their way into local water aquifers. . 2006). In preceding cases. One of the principal legacy’s that has been added to this Bhopal incident is that the water is so dangerously contaminated and has been left by the company for the people of Madhya Pradesh to clean up (Peterson M. Peterson M.