Section III death fog – Introduction to

of toxic gas leakage accident in Bhopal, India

Bhopal is located in the central part of India and is the capital of Madhya Pradesh of India. This is an ancient city with a long history. It has been established since the beginning of the 11th century. In the long historical years, it has gone through the vicissitudes and gradually become a modern industrial city. Here, the urban environment is beautiful, the transportation is convenient, there are many factories in the suburbs, and there are lively and prosperous scenes everywhere.

there is a pesticide factory in the suburb of Bhopal. It was established by the United carbide company of the United States in 1969 and is mainly used for the production of carbaryl, dimer and other pesticides. Among the raw materials used to manufacture these pesticides, there is a highly toxic gas called methyl isocyanate. Even if only a small amount of this gas stays in the air for a short time, it will make people feel eye pain, and a slightly higher concentration will suffocate people. At the Bhopal pesticide plant, the highly toxic compound is cooled into a liquid state and stored in an underground stainless steel storage tank, with a total amount of 45 tons. People live and work step by step every day, but they don’t know that a disaster is about to start here… The history of


toxic gas floats

on the afternoon of December 2, 1984, workers in Bhopal pesticide factory carried out routine maintenance of instruments and equipment. Suddenly, a maintenance worker made a mistake, Part of the water flows into the storage tank containing methyl isocyanate. The substances in the tank reacted strongly, an extremely unstable mixture was produced, and the pressure in the tank began to increase…

the night came quietly, the weather was cold, and most people who had worked hard all day went to bed early. The noisy city during the day was soon immersed in darkness and silence. The streets were cold, and the pale moonlight splashed on the earth, with bursts of cold wind passing from time to time. At 11 pm, a maintenance worker who checked the monitoring equipment of the storage tank suddenly found that the pointer of the thermometer on the methyl isocyanate storage tank 3 pointed to 38 ℃, and the reading on the pressure gauge was also rising sharply. The boiling point of methyl isocyanate is generally 39 ℃ ~ 44 ℃, that is, at this time, the methyl isocyanate in the air storage tank is close to boiling. A safety valve is installed on the air storage tank. When the pressure increases, it will automatically open and make the toxic gas enter the two scrubbers respectively along the connected pipeline, where the alkali liquor will neutralize the methyl isocyanate. Unfortunately, the automatic safety valve happened to fail that day. The needle on the thermometer indicates more and more degrees, the liquid evaporates continuously, and the pressure in the tank is higher and higher.

at 0:56 a.m. on the 3rd, the safety valve of the gas storage tank finally failed to withstand the pressure expansion and burst, and a large amount of toxic gas began to flow to two scrubbers. However, at that time, only one scrubber was in operation, and the other happened to be under repair. A large amount of gas sprayed out here has not been completely neutralized, so it began to overflow continuously. Several sharp and harsh sirens suddenly sounded, followed by a “bang”, a huge column of air rushed into the sky, and a mushroom shaped air mass formed over the factory. This air mass slowly expanded and expanded, and began to spread around the factory.

the blind victim in the poison gas

the alarm bell in the factory rang. There were 120 workers on the night shift in the factory that night. Driven by the poison fog, they began to run for their lives one after another. The reported Bhopal municipal government transferred a large number of technicians from baharat Heavy Electric Appliance Co., Ltd. after more than an hour of efforts, the air storage tank was successfully sealed, but at this time, the methyl isocyanate in the tank had also leaked out.

the poisonous gas from the pesticide factory is about twice as heavy as the air. It is close to the ground and floats quietly to the residential area around the factory like a fog. Late at night, people were sleeping soundly, the poison gas came quietly, and hundreds of residents died in their sleep. The poison gas continued to spread like a ghost. It passed through houses, streets and lakes and enveloped the whole city. There are many beggars near the railway station. They are crowded together because they are afraid of the cold. A dozen people were killed and more than 200 people showed serious poisoning symptoms in a few minutes after the poison gas spread there.

the concentration of toxic gas in the urban area is increasing. In the vast dark night, people fall into extreme panic and chaos. They feel suffocated and run around blindly. Many people began to feel dizzy, nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, they lost consciousness and collapsed to the ground and could not get up again. Where the poison gas passes, there are suffocated or blind people and the bodies of people and various animals. Most people die in their sleep, and for those who wake up, they can’t see the color of the gas, because the gas has quickly destroyed their nasal mucosa. Then many of them died without any explanation. Others found that there was strange gas intrusion, so they closed the doors and windows tightly, thinking that this could resist the poison gas. As a result, the house became a poison gas chamber, and hundreds of people died in this way.

from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., these deadly toxic gases covered an area of about 40 square kilometers, involving 11 residential areas and more than 200000 people. Among them, more than 2000 people died and more than 50000 eyes were damaged.

the terrible city of death

the morning after the accident, the light came as promised, but Bhopal, which was still bathed in the sun yesterday, lost all its brilliance. It was like a plague. Houses were intact, but there were bodies of people and livestock everywhere. The once beautiful city has suddenly become a city of terror.

on a street in the city, at least 200 people died, more than half of them were children, and the thin and stunted children became the most vulnerable objects to poison gas. More of the dead were found after people smashed open residents’ doors. They still slept last night, but they couldn’t wake up again. streetOn the road, there are dead bodies next to the dead bodies. Blind people help each other. They don’t know where is the safest place. A large number of animals with swollen stomachs lie across the street. Even plants could not escape the clutches of death. The leaves of radish and spinach were covered with yellow spots and covered with a white film. The lake also became turbid.

the smell of corpses rotting in the air, mixed with the smoke from the crematorium, is disgusting. Grave diggers are busy digging new graves, and medical staff are trying their best to prevent the plague. Most of the victims live in poverty and lack of culture. They haven’t figured out how all this happened. They just heard that the explosion was made by a drug factory, but they can’t imagine the connection between drugs and poison gas.

helpless rescue

there are five hospitals in Bhopal, but now they are crowded everywhere. A few hours later, the poisoned people were still waiting in the long queue in the hospital. All the doctors and nurses in the hospital were mobilized, and volunteers helped the doctors take care of the patients and comfort the frightened people. The soldiers of the army also took action to help maintain order and prevent congestion and collision. They set up dozens of tents near the hospital as temporary wards for patients to rest and receive treatment. The open space of the hospital was full of patients. They coughed, groaned and cried, and all kinds of painful voices mixed together.

survivors burned sculptures to protest against the United carbide company

children’s hospital. The situation is even worse. The children with weaker resistance were the most seriously injured in this disaster. A large number of children were sent here, some with oxygen tubes in their nostrils and some with intravenous drip in their heads. However, more children are too hurt by the poison gas to be treated. The children are crying in pain, and their parents are crying in despair. All they can do is pray silently here…

what worries the medical department most is the possible long-term effect of the poison gas. Affected by the poison gas, Even people who survive are likely to develop emphysema, asthma and bronchitis. In addition, the damage of toxic gas to liver and kidney is more serious, and it will also act on the central nervous system, making some patients dull for life. The day after the disaster, many pregnant women had unbearable abdominal pain. After medical examination, the fetus had died in the abdomen. After the




accident, the United carbide company denied responsibility for the disaster and refused to compensate the victims. Later, under the pressure of public opinion, Anderson, the chairman of the company, personally came to India and said that he would give us $1 million in “relief”, but this was obviously a drop in the bucket and it was difficult to calm the anger of the victims. Therefore, the Indian government refused and filed a claim for legal proceedings.

the old man who is still suffering from the influence of poison gas

on January 2, 1985, in order to strive for necessary compensation for the victims of this incident, India specially established a legal aid committee led by the judge of the Supreme Court. At the same time, the Indian Parliament passed a decree authorizing the Indian government to intervene with the United States as the only legal representative of the victims. However, the U.S. Court refused to accept the case on the ground that it had “no jurisdiction over what happened in India”. Then, in September 1986, the Indian government sued the United States company in Bhopal district court. The lawsuit of




lasted until 1989. On February 14 of that year, the Supreme Court of India made a final judgment, and the United carbide company of the United States was fined 470 million US dollars as compensation for the world’s largest industrial accident.

endless pain

20 years after the accident, Bhopal is still the worst affected area of industry in history, and the survivors still live in endless pain and struggle every day. These innocent people have once again become “victims” on the issue of compensation. They have endured humiliating treatment for a long time. No matter in the process of appeasement in the transitional period, in the process of compensation awarded by the court, or in the process of receiving treatment in the hospital, the person responsible has not given the necessary care and care to these victims. According to a statistical data, over the years, an average of 10-15 people die after suffering from long-term pain every month, and the living are still suffering from pain syndrome, which is unprecedented in medical history.

a little girl stood near the abandoned pesticide factory. After the

accident, the Indian government sent a large number of doctors, researchers and chemical experts to Bhopal to check 40% of the people in the city, and then built additional hospitals and medical facilities in the local area. At present, the number of patient consultation in each hospital is up to 1.4 million per year. Even so, because there are too many patients, 44% of patients still do not get medical examination.

from January 11 to 22, 1994, a number of medical experts went to Bhopal for a 12-day clinical investigation. The final conclusion is that many people suffer from central nerve damage, motor nerve coordination loss and immune system injury due to poisoning. Their symptoms include asthma, cough, chest and back pain, eye burning pain, anxiety and depression, This kind of deformity will last for generations, and their physical and mental deformity will last for generations. The serious accident of




makes people have to calm down and seriously think about what they have done while frantically pursuing money. The production system is not perfect, the prevention system is not perfect, and the treatment system is not perfect. Some people have won benefits for themselves, but others have paid a painful price. All men are created equal, and this disregard