Case Study Of Bhopal Gas Tragedy

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HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL PROJECT December 2nd of 1984 marked the eve of one of the world’s most extensive and deadliest industrial disasters, known now, thirty years later, as ‘The Bhopal Gas Tragedy’ or ‘The Bhopal Disaster’, among others. Essentially: between twenty-seven and forty tons of methyl isocyanate gas and other assorted chemicals leaked from a tank at a plant owned by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), the Indian subsidiary of the American company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), itself a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company (Eckerman). This catastrophic failure followed the introduction of water into an MIC storage tank, which caused an explosive chain reaction (Dhara). The chemical cloud produced by the reactions, which the plant’s…show more content…
The plant’s placement (near a densely populated area) was noted as hazardous years before the tragedy, but UCC insisted on the location. The planning board’s motivation for their insistence was primarily that it was cheaper to build using a pre-existing plant in the non-ideal location as a basis rather than building an entirely new plant in the more thinly populated area the Bhopal government had designated for hazardous industry (Eckerman). Had the plant been built in a more sparsely populated area, casualties and damage from the gas leak might have been drastically reduced. The tragedy might have been completely averted had UCC opted to use the more expensive production process (obviating the need for MIC) instead of the cheaper, more dangerous process (as discussed above). More economies were taken with the safety and security systems (Eckerman), which, properly installed and maintained, might have kept the tragedy from happening or lessened its effects; although the company maintained at first that the Bhopal plant was equipped as well as were its plants in other countries, UCC later admitted that the safety equipment in the plant was subpar

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