"That night my little daughter was vomiting all over the place and soiling her clothes over and over. She was coughing and gasping for breath and crying that her eyes were on fire- (Raisa). This is chilling testimony from one of the survivors of what is being called the worst industrial accident ever to happen, the accident at Union Carbide's chemical facility in Bhopal, India. In the following text I will dissect the incident, its apparent causes, the effects, and the social ramifications that followed. The central questions that need to be answered obviously are "how could such a tragedy occur", "what social problems came about as a result" and "what can be done to prevent another accident of this proportion". In answering these questions I have drawn upon many resources including eyewitness accounts, official reports, multiple news articles, and books. This particular incident is extremely important to examine in terms of a sociological standpoint due to the class of people that were affected, the lack of accountability on the company, and the lack of proper compensation from the guilty party.
The "accident" at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal happened around midnight on December 2-3 1984, but as the accounts I am about to reveal attest to, the cause is one from weeks, months, even years of corporate mandates and blatant disregard to safety procedures. The factory in Bhopal, one of 14 owned and operated by Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) was set up in 1969. The first batch of MIC, or methyl isocyanate, was shipped to Bhopal in 1979. The plant was reconfigured to produce and house MIC later that year based on Union Carbide's West Virginia plant, though it has been shown to have lesser standards of construction materials, monitoring devices, and safety systems (Parasuraman 336). .
"The immediate causes of the disaster are related to the cost-cutting drive started by UCC from its headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut in 1980.