Disaster Is A Blind Killer

1457 WordsMar 26, 20176 Pages
Disaster is a blind killer as it erupts and affects thousands worldwide. The severity of disasters is expected to increase as a result of contemporary threats (biological, cyber, nuclear, etc.) in addition to increased globalization and climate change. Yet sometimes government bodies, corporations, and the like fall short in instituting preventative systems to avert a disaster, oftentimes causing the general populous to be inadequately prepared should a catastrophe occur. Union Carbide’s gas leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at Bhopal, India in December of 1984 is an example of a tragedy that could have easily been averted had the Indian government been more proactive in the maintenance and enforcement of regulatory systems. Union Carbide’s…show more content…
The resulting gas leak killed more than 2,500 people that night alone, and would go on to claim the lives of over thousands of others. The sequence of events of that evening is arguably the result of operating errors, design flaws, maintenance failures, training deficiencies, and economic measures that endangered the safety amongst the residents living nearby (Das 1996, 161). The decommissioned refrigeration unit, the faulty pressure level, and temperature indicators of the MIC tank are examples of the lack of preventative measures Union Carbide ignored. Additionally, the lack of implemented safety measures in place prior to the leak could not have prevented a chemical reaction of this magnitude. In designing the plant’s safety systems, a water curtain for neutralizing MIC had been installed. Had a gas leak occurred, the water would come on to dissipate; however, the water curtain was set to reach only a certain height whereas MIC has the potential to escape far beyond calculated heights due to outside factors such as wind (Bowonder 2012, 162). Union Carbide claimed that factors such as employee sabotage – not the faulty design or operation – were the primary cause of the tragedy. An analysis by Bowonder found that the failures were at the corporate level. These managerial failures are the most critical and paramount if accidents are to be averted.
Open Document