What was the Bhopal Disaster
Bhopal disaster is the term used to refer to the gas leakage that happened in the pesticide plant in Bhopal, in the year 1984. The methyl isocyanate processing unit in the Union Carbide India Limited plant, gave away leading to the poisoning of the atmosphere with gases that led to the death of many and permanent disabilities to thousands of people. It is considered as one of the worst industrial catastrophes known to the modern era. The exact reason and the perpetrators behind the Bhopal gas tragedy have not been brought into limelight yet. Poor administration and lack of awareness among the local population have been said to be the prime causes for this tragedy that devastated the lives of many.
It was on December 3rd 1984, when water got leaked into the methyl isocyanate processing unit and the reactions that took place led to the release of poisonous gases into the atmosphere. Since safety measures taken were substandard, the gases escaped into the air and were blown to all parts of the city by the wind. It is to be noted here that, since the gases that were released were heavier than air, they formed the lower layer of the atmosphere, resulting in the death of thousands of people in the vicinity of the plant. It is disheartening to note that the impact of this gas leak is seen even today, as many new born kids show signs of malformations.
Other gases that leaked out of the plant were carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and phosgene, all of them extremely poisonous. The immediate death of thousands of people shows the poisonous nature of the gases that got leaked. Long term effects such as problems related to the respiratory tract and cases of cardiac arrest also have bee reported. Seven ex employees of the company have been punished by law for the careless act of theirs that claimed the life of many.
Inspite of the initial warnings about the substandard measures adopted in the plant, the administration did not take steps towards improving the working conditions and safety measures. In order to maximize profits, safety standards were compromised on. Though compensation and rehabilitation has been made available to the victims of this gas tragedy, the damage caused to their life cannot be set right. The quest for industrialization and rapid advancement in developing countries can be said to be the main culprit that leads to tragedies like the Bhopal gas tragedy, which is remembered as a black day in the history of India.