The Railway Men: The Untold Story of Bhopal 1984 is a recent Netflix series which is directed by Shiv Rawal, written by Aayush Gupta and is produced by YRF Entertainment and this is First OTT production of YRF and was released on 18th November 2023 starring Kay Kay menon as Iftekaar Siddiqui, the station master of the Bhopal Junction railway station, Babil Khan as Imad Riaz, an inexperienced Loco pilot, Divyenndu as Balwant Yadav, a dacoit, R. Madhavan as Rati Pandey, the general manager of the West Central Railway zone of the Indian railways, Sunny Hinduja as Kumawat, a journalist, Juhi Chawla Mehta as Rajeshwari Janglay, a principled Railways Ministry bureaucrat, ex-wife of Rati Pandey and several others.
This series walks you through the several events that took place before, during and after Bhopal Gas Tragedy. You will be taken into a thrilling, scary, disturbing and tragic journey of what happened on the night of dark, tragic and disaster that took place on 2nd December 1984, and took lives of almost 15,000 people and it is considered as the world’s worst industrial disaster.
”The Railway Men” primarily narrates how the Indian Railways employees saved many lives during the fateful night of December 2-3, 1984, after leak of MIC ( Methyl isocyanate) from the Union Carbide Private Limited plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Employees are neither properly trained nor given proper SOP’s. A former employee Imas Raiz meets journalist Kumawat and tells him that his friend died due to toxic gas inhalation at the plant and management took no action and instead fired him. Due to poor safety systems , malfunctioning of many valves, water leakage into MIC Pipes, high pressure was created inside the tank and it exploded. Though the manager tries to stop the same, he is helpless and dies immediately.
Instantly the gas spreads to surrounding areas and people begin to collapse and many die. Iftekaar who is Railway station Master at Bhopal junction understands the people indoors are safe and try to save as many as possible by taking them inside the waiting room with the help of Balwant yadav who is actually a dacoit who came to rob the money from the station.
As cable repair work is under progress, Iftekaar will be unable to reach nearby stations. Imad Raiz who is aware of gas leak comes to station and warns everyone about it and asks them to cover their faces with wet cloth and thereby saves the complexity of the problem and meanwhile Iftekaar and Balwant tries to get communication back and tries to reach nearby station but he couldn’t establish connection.
Rati Pandey, who is GM of Indian Railways, becomes aware of the situation through a local employee who tries to establish connection to Bhopal station. He informs the situation to Rajeswari Janglay, Railway minister and asks her to take immediate action. However her efforts are interpreted and her pleas are neglected by the government officials. Meanwhile, Rati motivates several railway workers and officers to help him to go to BHopal with medical kits, and other emergency equipment and doctors and several officers join the cause and they set off to Bhopal in a train. At Bhopal station, Iftekaar, Balwant and Imad try to rescue people at the station by sending them inside goods trains and locking them.
A German scientist comes and tries to convince the Government that he has an antidote to MIC but he is not supported by the Government and the Union Carbide. The head of the Union Carbide tries to manipulate and escape the situation telling that they were following all the procedures perfectly and lies to the Government officials.
Gorakhpur Express, a train with more than 1000 passengers makes its way towards Bhopal junction as they are unaware of the situation and Iftekaar and Rati try to stop the same but fail in numerous attempts. Knowing that Rati and his officials are coming to the same platform of Gorakhpur Express, Iftekaar and Imad try to find a way to avoid collusion but in this process Imad dies. The goods train in which Bhopal station people are there is attached to Gorakhpur express and meanwhile Rati and his team come to the rescue and help thousands of survivors.
In the end it is shown that thousands of bodies are buried and burnt, many railway officials who are actually the unsung heroes of the entire disaster and saves many people, sacrificed their lives.
I must say that this is a must watch series as you are going to learn the different incidents that happened and remained unknown to most of us. This is a wonderful tribute to all the unsung heroes who saved many lives by sacrificing themselves during the Bhopal disaster 1984 . The storyline, narration, direction and especially acting of every artist was top notch.