Bhopal Chemical Confusion


Union Carbide


-manufactured fertilizer

-decrease in sales=financial issue (decreased safety in factory/plant)


MIC (methyl-iso-cyanate)

-poisonous and dangerous

-highly reactive

     -at body temperature (basically boiled at this temp)

-*too much was being stored at the plant*

     -safety reports say they should have never had that much MIC at one site

     -but it is a hassle and expensive to dispose of



Exploding Tank

-the tank that exploded was 64% full and valve was broken

     -meter showed at 0 (suppose to be at 100), but they assumed it was simply broken

-workers we washing the pipes with water (bad idea!)

     -possible chemical reaction

     -didn't block from entering tanks

-tanks placed inside concrete bunker to keep cool and safe

     -night tank exploded, there was no cooling system in place

-if any toxic gas was to escape it should go through gas scrubber (but it was switched off! It wouldn't be able to handle it anyway!)



-Happened in 1984, right after midnight

-Gas is more dense than air (created a "blanket" over city)

-Many people died in their sleep (suffication)

-People are still suffering (deformations, medications, treatments, etc.)


Those involved

-Warran Anderson

     -boss of the company at the time, the morning of the incident he left India and had yet to return

     -claims it was sabatage

-Many workers we proven guilty

     -at first charged with manslaughter, but after time simply charged with negligence



-WW1 use of mustard gas

-WW2 concentration camps

-radiation in Hiroshima

-agent orange in Vietnam

-BP oil spill



-number of people in hospitals suffering

-didn't know what was happening

-how long did it take to die? what was the degree/nature of suffering?

-effect on the state

-Union Carbide responce








     -ability to speak





Take an audio clip during Bhopal. It can be yourself speaking about teh incident, an interview, a question you ask a guide, etc. We will use this in newMedia to make an audio podcast after we return from the weXplore.