By William J. Kole
Boston (AP) – Boston is marking the 100th anniversary of its most peculiar disaster – the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. Exactly a century ago Tuesday, a massive wave of 2.3 million gallons (8.7 million liters) of molasses unleashed by a ruptured storage tank came crashing through the city’s North End, obliterating everything in its path. The photo shows the devastation.
Twenty-one people were killed, along with dozens of horses, and 150 were injured.
This molasses was anything but slow. Historians say the initial wave of goop raced through the neighborhood at 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) – so fast not even Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt could have outrun it.
Suspicion at first fell on anarchists who were active at the time. But investigators determined the hulking tank was built with the same type of flawed steel used in the Titanic.