Bhopal Gas Tragedy : A Terrible Gas Leak

1642 WordsNov 11, 20157 Pages
Mihir Changela Biology 4440 – Toxicology Dr. Heather Sutton November 11, 2015 Bhopal Gas Tragedy A terrible gas leak on December 2nd and 3rd, 1984 had some of the worst impacts on the central part of India. It happened in the late night and early morning hours on those days when the clouds where filled with gray smoke which contained Methyl Isocyanate(MIC), one of the most poisonous gases from Union Carbide plant in the city of Bhopal. It was called one of the world’s most dangerous environmental disasters. The people of Bhopal had no idea what was coming for them on that particular day. The gas spread throughout the city and there was havoc among people in the entire city. The suffocating gas woke people up in the morning and had…show more content…
About 42 tones Methyl Isocyanate was released into the environment from the Union Carbide Plant in only one night caused a series of problems for the city of Bhopal. MIC was stored in huge 15,000 gallon tanks which were designated as E-610 and E-611. It was the E-610 that showed signs of leaks in the late night on December 2nd 1984 and eventually black fumes were seen coming out from the plant early morning on the next day (Vijayan 640). The cleaning water was reported to pass through the tanks in which MIC was stored and a violent reaction occurred eventually. The pressure and temperature kept rising until a point when the tank exploded and MIC along with various other gases was released into the atmosphere. It was only one time release of the toxic chemical but the amount of gas in the atmosphere was huge that it affected thousands even many days after the accident. According to the United Nations University, various factors were particularly responsible for MIC leakage like the coolant in the MIC refrigerators was not enough, lack of sodium hydroxide in the vent gas chamber, water sprays lacked pressure, and flare tower needed some repairs before the explosion. As a result MIC was readily leaked and spread into the environment fairly quick (Shrivastava). The disaster mainly affected human population living in the area of only few miles from the Union Carbide Plant. MIC has an extensive chronic effect on lungs and

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