New Delhi: Popularly known as the 'Black Friday', Bhopal gas tragedy left the world shocked with over 5000 deaths and thousands injured permanently and partially. Considered to be the dreadliest industrial disaster, Bhopal gas tragedy came as a lesson for the world and especially for India to keep a tab on the safety standards of the chemical factories.
Here is a flashback of Bhopal gas tragedy:
- Pre leak phase: In 1981, a worker in the Union Carbide India Limited (Ltd) was splashed with phosgene and as he removed his mask, inhaling a large amount of phosgene gas which resulted in his death 72 hours later
- In November 1984, Tank 610 contained 42 tons of MIC which was much above than the permissible limit. Along with this, most of the safety systems were not functional
- On the night of 2nd and 3rd December 1984, Tank 610 containinig 42 tons of MIC was mixed with water which started a runaway recation, accelerated by contaminants, high temperature.
- The reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to more than 200 degree celsius and raised its pressure so much that 30 metric tons of MIC automatically escaped from tank into the atmosphere
- Gas clouds were formed in the atmosphere and the gases were blown away to the Southeast direction over Bhopal
- People woke up due to coughing, severe eye irritation, feeling of suffocation, breathlessness, vomiting and many other symptoms and fled away from the plant. As per their height, children and people of shorter height inhaled more higher concentrations
- The following morning of December 3, 1984, thousands of people were found dead all over Bhopal. Although the government recorded 5,295 deaths, activists claim death toll over 25, 000
- They together with a technical team, immediately traveled to India. Upon arrival, however, Anderson was placed under house arrest and urged by the Indian government to leave the country within 24 hours.
- The CEO Warren Anderson was flown down to India and kept under house arrest and later flown out of the country on a bail of USD 2100
- A total of 36 wards were marked as 'gas affected' and the underground water was heavily contaminated with toxic wastes as the site was not cleared.
- The Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985 was passed to ensure that the claims of the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy are dealt speedily, effectively, equitably and to the best advantage of the claimants.
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