Case Study 12

Bhopal Tragedy: Mother of All Industrial Disasters

The Unfolding of the Tragedy

On the night of 3 December 1984, the greatest industrial disaster in the history of the world unfolded itself in a dangerous chemical reaction that occurred in the Union Carbide factory when a large amount of water (500 litres) got into the MIC storage tank 610. The poisonous gas methyl isocyanate (MIC), used in producing the pesticide, Sevin, leaked from the plant. The leakage was first detected by workers by about 11:30 p.m. when their eyes began to tear and burn. They informed their supervisor who failed to take action until it was too late. The factory alarm meant for workers was sounded by a desperate worker at 12.50 p.m. The management not only ...

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