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KF5JRV > TODAY    03.12.18 14:30l 36 Lines 1946 Bytes #1 (0) @ WW
BID : 26211_KF5JRV
Subj: Today in History - Dec 03
Sent: 181203/1315Z 26211@KF5JRV.#NWAR.AR.USA.NA BPQ6.0.17

In the early morning hours, one of the worst industrial disasters in
history begins when a pesticide plant located in the densely populated
region of Bhopal in central India leaks a highly toxic cloud of methyl
isocyanate into the air. Of the estimated one million people living in
Bhopal at the time, 2,000 were killed immediately, at least 600,000 were
injured, and at least 6,000 have died since.

The leak was caused by a series of mechanical and human errors in the
pesticide producing plant, operated by the Union Carbide Corporation, a
U.S.-based multinational. For a full hour, the plantís personnel and
safety equipment failed to detect the massive leak, and when an alarm
was finally sounded most of the harm had already been done. To make
matters worse, local health officials had not been educated on the
toxicity of the chemicals used at the Union Carbide plant and therefore
there were no emergency procedures in place to protect Bhopalís citizens
in the event of a chemical leak. If the victims had simply placed a wet
towel over their face, most would have escaped serious injury.

The Indian government sued Union Carbide in a civil case and settled in
1989 for $470 million. Because of the great number of individuals
affected by the disaster, most Bhopal victims received just $550, which
could not pay for the chronic lung ailments, eye problems, psychiatric
disorders, and other common illnesses they developed. The average
compensation for deaths resulting from the disaster was $1,300. The
Indian government, famous for its corruption, has yet to distribute
roughly half of Union Carbideís original settlement. Union Carbide,
which shut down its Bhopal plant after the disaster, has failed to clean
up the site completely, and the rusty, deserted complex continues to
leak various poisonous substances into the water and soil of Bhopal.

73 de Scott KF5JRV


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