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ABOUT COLLEGE - MIC 1984

 

Huge Poison Gas Leak in Bhopal, India (1984):

 During the night of December 2-3, 1984, a storage tank containing methyl isocyanate (MIC) at the Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked gas into the densely populated city of Bhopal, India. It was one of the worst industrial accidents in history.

Most people were at home sleeping when the tank burst out of the earth and stood shuddering on its end, emitting a stream of deadly fumes into the night. The gases came into their houses without warning. They woke choking, their eyes and mouths burning. Nobody knew what had happened. Then came shouts of 'gas!' and 'run away!' People tumbled out of their houses but the gas was waiting for them. It rolled in thick clouds along the narrow lanes, which in some places were little more than a metre wide. The street lamps shed a tobacco-brown light. No insects circled around them - they were already dead.

As families picked up their toddlers and fled, the alleys were filled with stampedes. Cows and dogs ran with their owners. People fell and were trampled. Children were wrenched from their mothers' arms and lost, never to be found.

It was 2 December 1984 and a pesticide factory owned by an American multinational - the Union Carbide Corporation - had leaked 27 tons of toxic chemicals into the slums of Bhopal, central India. Ignoring advice by its own experts, Union Carbide built the factory in the middle of densely populated neighborhoods. In contravention of US safety standards, a huge quantity of lethal methylisocyanate (MIC) was stored on site. The tank holding the MIC was not kept, as the safety manual required, at zero degrees Celsius. The plant's safety systems were dismantled and not working. Water leaked into the giant MIC tank and set off a violent chemical reaction.

Gandhi Medical College and Hamidia Hospital played a crucial role in emergency response and care after the Bhopal Disaster.When People were running around with their families to save their lives,doctors of Gandhi Medical College were strugling hard to save the lives of the victims of MIC 1984.Their eyes were itching ,hands was shivering due to the toxic effect of MIC but doctors were continuosly engaged in treating the patients.A regional institute of ophthalmology was also established here after the disaster for the patients suffering from eye problems due to MIC.

Nobody knows exactly how many died but we can form an idea from the 7,000 burial shrouds that were bought over the next three days. This number does not take into account the hundreds of people who were unaccounted for, or the families who had no-one left to bury or cremate them.

Just three days after the disaster, the chairman of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, was arrested. When he was released on bail, he fled the country.

One of the worst parts of this tragedy is actually what has happened in the years following that fateful night in 1984. Although Union Carbide has paid some restitution to the victims, the company claims they are not liable for any damages because they blame a saboteur for the disaster and claim that the factory was in good working order before the gas leak. The victims of the Bhopal gas leak have received very little money. Many of the victims continue to live in ill health and are unable to work.

 

 
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