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Posted on August 17th, 2012, by

Bhopal disaster was an accident at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, which occurred on the night of December, 2nd-3rd, 1984 (What Happened in Bhopal, 2008). That night, the plant started leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas, methyl isocyanate. The elak of the poisonous gas affected the nearby area and involved practically the entire city producing a destructive impact on the environment and population living in the area of the disaster. In the result of the accident, over 500,000 people were exposed to toxic gasses (Bhopal disaster, 2008), while 20,000 people have died to date (What Happened in Bhopal, 2008), while its negative effects are still affecting the local population and environment since the area of the disaster was not cleaned up properly and still remain intoxicated and potentially dangerous to the local population.

In such a context, it is obvious that the Bhopal disaster raises a number of moral issues. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that it is the owners of the plant and the Indian officials that are mainly responsible for the disaster. In fact, it was the Indian authorities who stimulated the construction of such dangerous plants in terms of the Green Revolution (TED Case Studies, 2008) and they apparently underestimated potential risks accompanying the construction of such plants. As for the owners of the plant, they apparently failed to ensure the environmental safety of the plant and they could not stop leaking immediately to prevent thousands of people from intoxication.

Moreover, they proved to be unable to warn people about the danger, while the authorities failed to evacuate the population from the nearby territory.

Obviously, the owners of the plant and the officials ignored basic ethical norms and principles. First of all, both the owners and the authorities proved to be irresponsible in regard to the environment and the local community. In fact, the owners of the plant pursuit financial benefits and attempted to maximize their profits saving costs on the safety of the plant, while the local authorities were apparently focused on the acceleration of the Green Revolution, instead of the responsibility for the life of the local community and protection of the environment from the risk of pollution, which had actually occurred in 1984 in the result of the disaster. Moreover, the authorities failed to assist the local community to recover from the negative effects of the disaster because they did not clean up the territory neither forced the owners of the plant to invest into the recovery of the territory intoxicated by the plant’s leakage.

This is why it is possible to estimate that the actions of the owners of the plant and the authorities are blameworthy because they actually did nothing to prevent the disaster and, what is probably even more important, they did not assist the local community and environment to recover from or prevent intoxication and pollution. Obviously, if the evacuation was conducted properly thousands of people could have been saved, while the cleaning of the territory could minimize the negative effects of the disaster, which, because of the inaction of the owners of the plant and the authorities, persist till present moment. Hence, the guilt of the authorities and the owners of the plant proves to be beyond a doubt since the negative effects of the disaster could have been prevented.

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