Name Date Course Section/# Bhopal: Crisis and Responsibility The worst chemical disaster that the modern world has yet seen took place in India in the year 1984. Union Carbide, a now defunct company, was producing pesticides within its industrial facility in Bhopal Madhya Pradesh when an explosion caused a release of hydrogen cyanide…
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Regardless of the overall loss of life or the nature of the explosion that caused the subsequent release, the pertinent business issue associated with such a horrifying event is seeking to determine culpability for the tragedy. As such, this essay will discuss overall culpability as well as seek to define where ownership begins and culpability ends. Before delving into such a topic and seeking to weigh economic costs and benefits, the author of this piece feels incumbent to reiterate the sheer scale of this disaster so that the reader might not in any way seem to misunderstand that this analysis has not taken into full account the suffering and loss of life that such a careless and poorly managed disaster has effected on countless rural and working poor in Bhopal, India (Bloch 2012). As such, although this analysis will seek to determine the overall level to which a business entity should be held responsible for a tragedy of epic proportions, such an analysis will seek to address both moral and ethical issues associated with the Bhopal crisis without merely focusing on the positive and negative business factors that could affect such a decision. Only days after the Bhopal disaster, CEO of Union Carbide was testifying before the United States Congress exalting the “commitment to safety” that Union Carbide has exhibited in the past and plans to exhibit in the future with reference to ensuring such an incident would never occur again. Ultimately, Union Carbide agreed to pay over 300 million USD to the victims of the Bhopal disaster as a means to attempt to evade any further litigation surrounding the matter. However, due to the sheer size and scope of the Bhopal tragedy, such a sidestep was impossible (Kripalanin 2008). Eventually, the legal ramifications of the Bhopal disaster forced Union Carbide to divest itself entirely of its Indian holdings and sell of the remainder of its operations within the subcontinent. As such, many individuals, both within India and within the remainder of the world thought that a likely end to the legal wrangling surrounding the Bhopal incident would likely draw to a close. However, this was not the case. Due to the sheer size en horror of the incident, it remained indelibly seared onto the minds of the populace and government entities within India. As a function of this, when DOW chemical bought some of the components that originally constituted Union Carbide in 2002, many officials within the Indian government as well as human rights activists that had closely monitored the legal back and forth between Union Carbide and its affiliates in the wake of the disaster began to make immediate demands upon DOW chemical to don the mantle of responsibility for the disaster (Ali 2012). Eager to have a recognizable MNC at the helm of the now defunct portions of Union Carbide, many believed that DOW should be responsible for the final remediation and civic responsibility associated with the Bhopal disaster. At the risk of sounded calloused and with a long and storied reputation to uphold, DOW chemical found itself at a severe impasse. Rather than outright denying the claim and risking alienating key shareholders within one of the fastest growing markets in the world, DOW found itself
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(“Bhopal Disaster Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words”, n.d.)
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(Bhopal Disaster Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
“Bhopal Disaster Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1463894-bhopal-disaster.
The technical reasons for the occurrence of the Bhopal disaster were the contamination of a storage tank of methyl isocyanate with large amounts of water, which caused a runaway chemical reaction that caused a huge explosion. In essence, an exothermic reaction took place when the water was released into the storage tank of methyl isocyanate.
It Was Five Past Midnight at Bhopal: Review and Analysis. Five Past Midnight at Bhopal is a piece of holistic history, an anthropological review of the individuals and the discrete events behind the Bhopal disaster. It is an ethnographic work that allows people to see what happened behind the scenes.
The pesticide plant was Union Carbide Pesticide India Limited. The immediate death toll was 2,259 and the death toll related to the gas release was 3,787. 1979 was when a MIC was introduced in the production plant. The water entered the tank containing 42 tons of MIC.
This essay will identify and recommend the measures that can better equip and prepare the government and the businesses to deal with disasters. Lastly it will analyze the disaster management of this event and compare it with other petrochemical disaster in a less economically developed country namely the Bhopal disaster in India.
The reaction resulted into a major increase in the temperature of the liquid inside the tank causing the toxic gas to explode.
Prior to the disaster, the company, Union Carbide was rated to have the best worker safety record (Browning, 1993) However, severe ethical problems were identified that became the causes of such tragedy.
The author states that presence of water in the MIC holding system was a major cause of the accident because of reactive nature of MIC with water. There were immense damages including the death of animals, destruction of plants and people. The presence of water in the holding tank may have been a human error.
The disaster happened on the night of December 3, 1984 when a cloud of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) enveloped the homes of people in the nearby pesticides plant in Bhopal, India. It drifted inside the houses of the sleeping residents who woke up with the fume of the toxic chemical and coughed, choked and rubbed their painfully stinging eyes.
Bradford (1985) in his article, expresses the fact its effects were felt years later on. While the death toll was officially reported to have been 2,259, it’s the effect that it left on those who survived that was even more devastating. Bradford explains that for