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Gas Tragedy Which Injured Half A Million

This industrial accident at a renowned gas unit which killed 15000 workers and left over half a million with nonfatal injuries.The mere mention of the incident sends shivers down the spine.
We decided to look at it from the safety viewpoint and to find out the failures that eventually led to it.


Union Carbide India Limited, Bhopal started a pesticide plant in 1970.On 3rd of December,1984 this plant released a poisonous gas into the environment, immediately killing thousands of people.

This Catastrophic incident was caused by three primary causes:

1.Equipment

2. Maintenance

3.Safety System

This poisonous gas known as Methyl isocyanate was stored in a tank E610 which held 42 metric tonnes of Liquid.

Failures:

1. The tank was filled beyond specified maximum Safety limit of 30 MT which is 50% of the holding capacity. This led to the loss of nitrogen gas pressure which was used in emptying the tank.

2. Most of the safety equipment was not working.

3. The liquid MIC was held in the tank for more than a month before this tragic accident.

4. Improper maintenance and failure of equipment led to water entering the tank.

5. A refrigeration system for cooling MIC was not present.

6. No proper emergency procedures defined in case of a leak.

7. Even Emergency Alarm systems were not working.

8. The tank pressure and temperature kept on increasing to high-risk zone still very casual approach was taken by the maintenance department.

The failure has one thing in common.Safety systems were installed but they were not working.
None of the safety and emergency procedures were followed.The Refrigeration system was taken off two years back?This tragedy did not happen on its own, they invited it to happen.When you are handling hazardous...life-threatening chemicals. Safety is of paramount importance.Installing safety equipment is the first step in the right direction.

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