On January 15, 1919, in Boston, Massachusetts, a large storage tank 50 feet tall and 90 feet in diameter burst, and a 25 ft tall wave (40 feet at its peak) of more than 2 million gallons of molasses rushed through the streets at 35 miles per hour killing 21 people and injuring 150 (as well as killing several horses). The force of the molasses bent train tresses and leveled buildings in its wake.
Families of the victims filed a successful class-action lawsuit against the United States Industrial Alcohol Company which had to pay a $600,000 settlement (approximately $7,000 to each family who suffered a fatal loss).
|Aftermath of the Great Molasses Flood. Public Domain Photo.|