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The Bhopal disaster: A Case History


R. Willey (Northeastern University)


This SACHE product summarizes the events that led to one of the most significant toxic releases that has occurred to date in the chemical process industry. This product focuses on the chemical processes involved and can best be used in a course devoted to process safety as well as in courses dealing with chemical kinetics (as an example of a runaway reaction) or related to mass transfer and atmospheric dispersion.
This product includes three resources:
  • Bhopal SACHE (Adobe pdf file) includes many details of the accident scenario including descriptions of the plant (and its equipment and piping), background chemistry, and potential hazards along with detailed references.
  • Bhopal SACHE Presentation (PowerPoint) includes speaker notes and includes much of the material in the word document.
  • The video, “Unraveling Bhopal,” describes Bhopal with many scenes of the city, plant, and accident scenario. This 16 minute video was produced by the Union Carbide Corporation and includes details of the accident and the subsequent Union Carbide investigation illustrating the details and complexities of an accident investigation. The video is available through streaming video in BhopalDescription.pdf.

Suggested courses that can use this product

  • Chemical Reactions/Kinetics
  • Design
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