Who/what caused the Bhopal disaster? According to the old union carbide site it was a sabotage and they allude to the Indian government knowing who caused it.
The introduction of water into methyl isocyanate (MIC) tanks, according to this. Sloppy safety protocols had taken the gas treatment mechanism offline.
People are still dying in Bhopal because nobody has cleared up the mess properly yet.
This site asserts that Union Carbide had allowed the Bhopal plant to slide into disrepair, and had cut back on safety measures in the early 1980s. For instance, in the summer of 84, the refrigeration system that cooled liquid methyl isocyanate had been decommissioned. If this and other safety mechanisms had been functioning when the accident occured, the tragedy would likely have been averted.
The specific catalyst for the December 2nd disaster apparently occurred when the stopcocks on a corroded pipe failed and allowed water to reach the biggest tank of methyl isocyanate, which subsequently exploded.
Union Carbide hasn’t ever been able to prove its claim that this was an act of sabotage rather than an accident. In any case, as this article points out, the leak should have been contained if proper safety and emergency mechanisms had been in place:
And SentientMeat is right–nobody has yet completely cleaned the area, and Dow Chemical, which now owns UC and its liabilities, has continued UC’s strategy of shifting the blame to the Indian government (who did own some shares of UC’s Indian subsidiary which ran the plant, although the UC still owned the majority of it). Most likely, the tragedy resulted from the combination of multiple bad factors, caused largely by neglect and cost-cutting procedures which left the plant in such a perilous state. Responsibility for letting the plant get in this state probably rests with both the UC (now Dow) and the Indian government; it’s still debatable about which party bears the larger share of the blame.
the cite i was referring to was www.bhopal.com (shrewdly bought up by union carbide) in the Faq they claim
The British Broadcasting Corp. was hoaxed today by an activist posing as a Dow Chemical employee who said the company was accepting blame for the disaster and setting up a $12 billion fund for victims.