The Tragedy of Bhopal

An analysis of the vulnerability of developing countries for industrial catastrophes using the Bhopal incident as a case study.

This paper examines how developing countries are particularly vulnerable to industrial crises and how, even though they often lack the infrastructure that is required to maintain sufficient technology, they are eager to set up modern industries. It looks at how, in many cases, since the local community is not well-informed and because the country of interest lacks the legal means to address environmental impacts of a certain industry, those companies take advantage of that fact and often, in order to cut down the costs even further, don?t implement safety and environmental protection measures that are mandatory in the country of origin. It uses, as an example, the Bhopal catastrophe in central India when thousands of people were killed and injured in 1984 from a chemical leak.

The Chronology of a Disaster
Tragedy Analysis
The Aftermath
“When the sun came up on the city of Bhopal, the day after the incident, the tragedy was far from over. The catastrophe hasn’t ended with the 3,800 and 11,000 permanently injured. The death toll from the incident, as a result of the exposure to the MIC and other vapors is still rising. According to the Welfare Commissioner’s office in Bhopal at least 5325 people have died due to Union Carbide’s poison gases until December 1992. Unofficial reports claim that until 1996, 16,000 people died of long-term health problems due to the exposure. From then on, 10-15 people are dying every month due to health complications that followed the exposure.”