Posted by: Green Knight | December 3, 2010


26 years ago today, Union Carbide had a one-hour leak of methyl isocyanate gas from a tank at its pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The immediate death toll was nearly 3,000, and more than 8,000 others succumbed later from related injuries.  It’s been estimated that a quarter of a million people suffered permanent effects, and I’ve never seen any studies of the impact on wildlife, livestock, or the local flora.  A faulty valve in a water-trap tank assembly leaked for only ONE HOUR, folks. The worst industrial accident in history. This incident led to stricter reporting requirements in the US under Superfund law, SARA Title III for you regulatory types out there. Hard to make it look like an achievement, but it certainly focused global attention on chemical storage and handling. My hat goes off to the survivors and to those who helped during the disaster.


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