Chemical disasters 

Mains Marks Booster     5th August 2023        

The loss of containment of hazardous chemicals can lead to fire, explosions,  toxic release, or a combination of them. Chemical disasters may arise at any stage of the plant/process life cycle such as commissioning, storage, manufacturing, maintenance, disposal, transportation, etc.

Causative Factors

  • Aging of process plants and inadequate steps to pace with modern technologies in the Indian chemical industry.
  • Structural loopholes: Fire, explosion, toxic release, and combinations of all can occur during transport, storage, and processing due to a number of reasons.
  • Organic solvents: A most common source of fires and explosions in the chemical industry. 
  • Human error as a result of non-compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • defects in design; absence of SoPs to mitigate an early warning in the process, and poor coordination between different departments.
  • Improper maintenance of equipment.

Prevention and Response

Prevention and Response


A chemical disaster has effects on generations of populations that are almost irreparable and the cost of that to the affected people is unimaginable. Scientific infrastructure and strong legal measures will serve the purpose and make Indian industries safe from disaster.