Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Boston Molasses Disaster -- January 15, 2019

Ottowa Free Trader-Journal, 15-January-1919
It sounds like a joke, but the Boston Molasses Disaster killed 25 people and injured about 150.  

30 KILLED IN BOSTON EXPLOSION OF MOLASSES
NEIGHBORHOOD IS FLOODED BY SYRUP

Boston, Jan. 15. -- "Thirty persons were killed and at least fifty injured today when a huge molasses tank exploded on Atlantic avenue, near North End park. Three buildings were demolished, the elevated structure partially wrecked, and the North End pier shoved into the harbor by the force of the terrific explosion.

The estimate of the number of dead and injured was made by Fire Chief McDonough.

Thousands oi tons of molasses were thrown into the air, covering neighboring buildings and a pall of dense smoke clouded the upper harbor. The explosion occurred when a large number of workmen employed in the city yards were eating their lunches. Stunned by the deafening roar the men were thrown to the ground and covered by molasses and falling timber before they had an opportunity to escape.

Buildings were lifted from their foundations and flung onto the elevated structure. Passing automobiles were caught up and twisted about lamp posts. Molasses covered everything.

Within a few minutes after the explosion the men of the United States training ship Nantucket, tied up at the North End pier, were on tho scene. Assisted by the crew of an ammuniiion lighter they threw a guard around the devastated district.

A company of U. S. guards arrived later and with fixed bayonets held back the crowd. Sailors and soldiers assisted by ihe police and firemen waded into the molasses to rescue the wounded and drag out the hodies of the dead.

Wounded and dead alike were covered with molasses and in many cases were buried under piles of timber.

The tank that exploded is said to have contained 2,000,000 gallons of molasses.

According to the authorities the explosion was due to alcohol gas gene-rated by the molasses.

2 comments:

nick kibre said...

According to Wikipedia, the area smelled a little like molasses for years after!

Some of the other stories on that newspaper look interesting too.

Joe Thompson said...

Hi Nick. That was one busy news day.