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This Day In Safety History

Written by Steve Hudgik

We look back through history to find the most interesting stories from the past related to safety.

Jan. 15, 1919
The Boston Molasses Disaster


The Boston Molasses Disaster, a.k.a. the “Great Molasses Flood,” killed 21 and injured 150. In a North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, a large molasses storage tank burst at the Purity Distilling Company, sending molasses rushing through the streets at what was an estimated 35 mph. The tank contained as much as 2.5 million gallons of molasses. While the exact cause of the accident remains uncertain, it was revealed that the person responsible for oversight of the construction of the tank four years earlier had neglected basic safety tests. Residents in the local area today claim that on hot summer days, smells of molasses whiffle through the air.

The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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