Bhopal (Great Disasters, Reforms and Ramifications) by John Riddle

By John Riddle

Offers an account of the 1984 chemical coincidence on the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, and explores how the research of such injuries may end up in defense reform.

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Sample text

Their goal was to arrange for immediate and long-term relief, to assist in the safe disposal of any remaining MIC supplies at the plant, and to investigate the cause of the accident. According to the Jackson Browning Report by the Union Carbide Corporation, “Because of the obstacles placed in our way by Indian authorities, it would be March 1985 before we could point with certainty to the cause. ” Union Carbide, like most major corporations, did have a contingency plan for emergencies. The plan called for the step-by-step framework and offered guidelines on how to respond to emergencies.

All of us were coughing and vomiting and it was getting more and more unbearable. My grandparents had come for a visit, they too were in a miserable state. We opened the door after about four hours. In the morning we went to a tent that had been set up on the roadside and got some medicines from there—eye drops and pills. But these were of no use. My four year old sister Asha died three days after the gas. My father used to work in a sweet shop making sweets. Ever since the gas he can hardly work.

In our neighbourhood there was a house where snakes had built their nest. The people in the house used to burn chillies to drive away the snakes. On the night of the gas when all of us woke up coughing and gasping for breath, the first thought that came to our mind was that it was the snake cure gone awry. We opened the door and saw a great number of people all rushing past. Soon we came to know that it was gas coming from Union Carbide’s factory. My father said “Lets not run away, because we will surely get separated from each other in this crowd and darkness.

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