The Bhopal Saga –

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy – considered the world’s worst industrial disaster happened on December 2-3 midnight at 00:30 in Bhopal’s Union Carbide Limitied which was a Pesticide factory. In the incident the harmful gases of Methyl Isocyanite along with Hydrogen cyanide and other reactionary products leaked out of the factory, the leaked gas  has supposedly killed about 2300 people immediately after it occured according to the official records, two years later the death toll raised to 3600.
However, in a shocking revelation a report by Welfare commission for Bhopal Gas tragedy victims revealed in 2006 through a government affidavit that the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries apart from 7000+ deaths in first 5 years after the incident took place. Apart from these casualities there were thousands of cattle that died. The trees around the factory dried up in a few days time.

Such was the aftermath of the incident.

Causes:

1. One of the arguments was that there was The “Corporate Negligence”,  that the disaster was caused by a potent combination of under-maintained and decaying facilities, a weak attitude towards safety, and an undertrained workforce, culminating in worker actions that inadvertently enabled water to penetrate the MIC tanks in the absence of properly working safeguards.

2. The “Worker Sabotage” point of view argues that it was not physically possible for the water to enter the tank without concerted human effort, and that extensive testimony and engineering analysis leads to a conclusion that water entered the tank when a rogue individual employee hooked a water hose directly to an empty valve on the side of the tank. This point of view further argues that the Indian government took extensive actions to hide this possibility in order to attach blame to UCC

Whatever be the cause, it was sure an incident that could have been avoided and an incident of such destruction that any amount of compensation to the lives of those distressed souls couldn’t do right justice. But what happened is least deserved by those people. It took 10 years or more for conviction of the officials involved, one of them was convicted after his natural death occurred. And the chairman of the UCC company that owned Indian wing UCL Anderson was hiding in the U.S. and was not allowed to be extradited. He was fined a meager Rs. 1,00,000 ($2124).

All I can pray for is to let the souls of the victims rest in peace through this post and more stringent rules for factory safety of the workers have to be put in place to avoid such incidents henceforth.

Yours Saiprasad.

–” Do or Do, Never Die”

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