Your link said : "no one has quite seen anything like it." Check this out, and same thing happened in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And, the Boston one was worse than the Hawaii one, yes, 21 dead.Molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor poses calamity for marine life
As much as 1,400 tons of molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor, killing thousands of fish, and officials say there's no way to clean it up.
By Matt Pearce
September 13, 2013, 3:37 p.m.
Fish began dying en masse in the waters around Honolulu after hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor early this week, and there's nothing officials can do to clean it up.
Thousands of fish have died from the sugary sludge. Crabs lay dead along the harbor bottom while more fish floated listlessly, some seeming to gasp above the surface of the water contaminated by the syrupy sweetener.
The spill is one of the worst man-made disasters to hit Hawaii in recent memory, officials said, not least because no one has quite seen anything like it.
The Great Molasses Flood of 1919
Although it's been almost 90 years since the flood, they say that on a hot day, the streets in some parts of Boston still bleed molasses.
On January 15, 1919, a sound later described as a dull, muffled roar emanated briefly from the six-story-tall molasses tank at the Purity Distilling Company. This grumbling was heard for only a moment, when it was shortly interrupted by a terrific explosion that sent the tank's half-inch-thick sheet iron shell flying through the air in three giant pieces. The force of the explosion demolished several nearby buildings, including a fire station which was crushed by a huge chunk of the steel tank, and the Purity offices which were flattened.
Even more catastrophically, the tank's two-and-a-half million gallons of molasses were loosed upon the city. A huge wave of molasses flowed swiftly down the surrounding streets, pushing buildings off their foundations and overturning wagons, carts, horses, and motorcars. It broke the girders of a nearby elevated train, and tossed a train from its tracks. The streets were quickly filled with the sticky debris of ruined buildings, and syrupy molasses sludge up to three feet deep.
Rescue efforts began immediately, but most who ventured into the mess quickly became mired in the goo, and soon required rescuing themselves. Terrified survivors were seen running away from the chaotic scene covered from head to toe in dark brown molasses.
The molasses in Purity's fifty-eight foot tall storage tank had been awaiting transfer to their processing plant, where it would then be used for sweetener, and to be used in making ethyl alcohol for drinking-liquor and munitions. The exact cause of the explosion was never determined, but it is generally attributed to unseasonably warm temperatures combined with defects in the tank. Reports indicate that when the tank was first filled with molasses, so many leaks appeared that Purity had it painted brown to hide them.
In all, twenty-one lives were lost in the disaster-- mostly to crushing and asphyxiation-- and 150 injuries were reported. It is said that a lawyer for Purity arrived on the scene within hours and tried to pin the disaster on anarchist saboteurs, but despite this continued insistence, the company ultimately paid out about $1 million in settlements, equivalent to about $11 million today. The nearby harbor remained brown through the rest of the winter and spring, and it took over six months to clean the structures, automobiles, and cobblestone streets of the sticky mess.
By coincidence, the 18th amendment of the US Constitution was ratified the very next day, enabling the Prohibition.
Written by Alan Bellows, posted on 23 September 2005. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.