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Quiz about Endless Night Union Carbide Tragedy
Quiz about Endless Night Union Carbide Tragedy

Endless Night: Union Carbide Tragedy Quiz


Twenty-five years after the Union Carbide plant at Bhopal, India leaked noxious fumes into the city killing over 15000 inhabitants, the victims had still not received justice or adequate compensation making the tragedy an endless night for those affected

A multiple-choice quiz by zorba_scank. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
zorba_scank
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
324,591
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
856
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: colbymanram (4/10), PurpleComet (7/10), Guest 157 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The Union Carbide Corporation was established in 1917 as a chemical and polymer manufacturer. In 1969, the company set up a factory in Bhopal, India to manufacture a chemical called Sevin used primarily as an insecticide. Where in India is Bhopal located? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. On the night of December 2, 1984, what entered the storage tank containing methyl isocyanate setting off a reaction that released toxic gases into the city? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. What did Union Carbide claim to be the principal cause of the toxic gas leak? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which of the following safety mechanisms that would have helped set off alarms or mitigate the destruction caused were not operational on that particular night? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide, was arrested on December 7th, 1984 in connection with the leak. What happened to him next? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Over 3000 people and 2000 animals died in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. In 1985, the Indian parliament passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Act. What did this Act state? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In 2010, more than twenty five years after the leak, the environmental impact of the leakage had still not been rectified, with groundwater in the area having alarming levels of toxins.


Question 8 of 10
8. Union Carbide sold off its Indian subsidiary to Eveready Industries in 1994. Seven years later, which American multinational bought Union Carbide itself? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. On June 7, 2010, eight Indian employees of the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide were convicted of negligence including the former non executive Chairman, Keshub Mahindra. What sentence did they each receive? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Which of the following books is NOT based on this tragedy? Hint



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Feb 24 2024 : colbymanram: 4/10
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Union Carbide Corporation was established in 1917 as a chemical and polymer manufacturer. In 1969, the company set up a factory in Bhopal, India to manufacture a chemical called Sevin used primarily as an insecticide. Where in India is Bhopal located?

Answer: Central state of Madhya Pradesh

The plant was set up under a subsidiary named Union Carbide India Limited in which the parent company had a 50.9% stake. Initially set up to manufacture Sevin, in 1979 another plant was added to manufacture Methyl Isocyanate, an intermediate in the production of Sevin.

Sevin, whose chemical name is Carbaryl, was discovered by Union Carbide and introduced commercially in 1958. Although an effective pesticide, the use of Carbaryl is illegal in countries like Britain and Germany, among others. Union Carbide sold the trademark Sevin to Bayer in 2002.
2. On the night of December 2, 1984, what entered the storage tank containing methyl isocyanate setting off a reaction that released toxic gases into the city?

Answer: Water

This triggered off an exothermic reaction and the temperature inside the tank rose rapidly. Unable to withstand the high temperature and build up of pressure, the tank containing the methyl isocyanate released a large volume of hazardous fumes into the atmosphere.
3. What did Union Carbide claim to be the principal cause of the toxic gas leak?

Answer: Sabotage

As late as 2010 the company maintained that a disgruntled former worker had intentionally added water to the tank containing methyl isocyanate which resulted in the mishap. Other theories on how water entered the tank include bad maintenance and malfunctioning valves.
4. Which of the following safety mechanisms that would have helped set off alarms or mitigate the destruction caused were not operational on that particular night?

Answer: All of these - and more

Due to declining profitability, Union Carbide had decided to shut down the plant and sell it off in early 1984. However, they were unable to find a suitable buyer. In the meantime, several cost cutting measures were put in place, which greatly reduced the safety standards of the plant. Retrenchment and salary disputes also led to a number of skilled workers leaving the company. Even though the state government was aware of the high risk posed by the plant operating in such conditions, no steps were taken to deal with the situation.
5. Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide, was arrested on December 7th, 1984 in connection with the leak. What happened to him next?

Answer: He was released on bail six hours later and fled the country.

Warren Anderson was flown out of the country on a government plane! Three years later, the Government of India summoned Anderson along with a few other top executives to face trial in India. However, they claimed that since Union Carbide was not under Indian jurisdiction, they were under no obligation to comply with the summons.

Despite several attempts, India was unable to extradite Anderson even till May 2010.
6. Over 3000 people and 2000 animals died in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. In 1985, the Indian parliament passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Act. What did this Act state?

Answer: The Indian Government would be the sole representative of the victims in all legal cases.

Bhopal was a fertile ground for lawyers to file mass tort cases and the Government was afraid of the legal tangles of having so many victims represented individually. To ensure the case was speedily dealt with and compensation adequately provided to all those affected, it passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Act in March 1985 becoming the sole representative of the victims in all legal cases.
7. In 2010, more than twenty five years after the leak, the environmental impact of the leakage had still not been rectified, with groundwater in the area having alarming levels of toxins.

Answer: True

The groundwater in the area has been tested and found to have high levels of mercury apart from other toxins like napthol. Water samples collected from tube wells near the factory have also been found to be toxic to fish.

Inhabitants of the area suffered from respiratory illnesses and children of affected women were born with severe birth defects.
8. Union Carbide sold off its Indian subsidiary to Eveready Industries in 1994. Seven years later, which American multinational bought Union Carbide itself?

Answer: Dow Chemicals

Dow claimed right at the beginning that it didn't have any obligation towards the Bhopal Gas leak catastrophe and the financial settlements had already been done by Union Carbide itself. On the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy, BBC broadcasted an interview with an alleged Dow representative called Jude Finisterra who declared that Dow had decided to clean up the site of the disaster and duly compensate all the victims. Immediately, prices of Dow's shares plunged before the company stated that they had made no such announcement and the entire episode was declared a hoax.
9. On June 7, 2010, eight Indian employees of the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide were convicted of negligence including the former non executive Chairman, Keshub Mahindra. What sentence did they each receive?

Answer: Two years' imprisonment and Rs. 1 lakh in fines

The verdict was hailed as a mockery of justice. Within hours of the verdict, seven of the accused were released on bail (one of the people held guilty had already died much earlier). The verdict also raised questions on the culpability of non executive Chairmen of companies who were not involved in managing the day to day functioning and the extent to which they can be held liable in such situations.
10. Which of the following books is NOT based on this tragedy?

Answer: "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy

"Animal's People" is a fictional account of a boy born with a twisted spine due to the gas leak and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2007. "Five Past Midnight in Bhopal" is part fiction and part historical fact while "The Black Box of Bhopal" is a nonfictional account of the disaster and the ensuing legal and social events.
Source: Author zorba_scank

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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