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Boston remembers its great Molasses disaster



Photo source: Boston Public Library, Wikipedia

We recently passed the 100th anniversary of the huge Boston Molasses Disaster that occurred on January 5, 1

919. In today's world, it can be difficult to imagine how a household product can cause a disaster like would lead to the death of 21 people, more than 150 injuries and an entire neighborhood that is leveled. It was thus when 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst from a 50-meter-long northern storage tank with powerful force.

Molassor was in today's important pile, a common sweetener. In addition to household kitchen, molasses was used as an important ingredient in rum and used once in the manufacture of ammunition.

The disaster occurred just after noon on an unseasonably hot January day in a lively residential area of ​​Boston. The insurance magazine describes the event:

The original wave rose at least 25 meters high – almost as long as an NFL target – and it obliterated everything in its path and killed 21 people and injured 150 others. Rivets popped as machine gun fire. Raised railway tracks buckled. Warehouses and fireplaces are handled as game pieces on a Monopoly board. Tenements were reduced to kindling.

Rolling out of the molasses was excluded. The first ran through the harbor area at 35 mph. Not even Usain Bolt, who clocked just under 28 mph at his world record fastest, could have sprinted to safety.

The storage tank was owned by the Purity Distillation Company. After the disaster, they tried to blame the explosion on bombs set by anarchists. The real source of the disaster was a confluence of predictable factors, primarily a poorly constructed, overloaded storage tank, so poorly constructed that it was painted brown to mask any leakage.

A page dedicated to the melas catastrophe with links to historical accounts says:

"Assure a disaster site with crushed buildings, turning vehicles, drowned and crushed victims, and frightened survivors who drove away in molasses. Just like today's disasters we unfortunately are familiar with, it was chaos, terror, buildings in ruins, victims to be excavated, captured survivors to rescue, rescue workers among the victims and upset families rushing to the relief centers to find their relatives, it was like a horrible disaster site, with the addition of everything was covered with smelly sticky brown molasses. "

The agency's checklists also include an article on the disaster, including several images. They note that the disaster marked the beginning of stricter construction codes and accountability.

"According to a journal article about the flood, the resulting case where the US Industrial Alcohol (USIA) corporation, owner of the purity distillery driving the tanks, was forced to pay" … $ 15 million repayment in today's money "because of the structural The weakness of the tanks used to hold the molasses It was revealed during the subsequent trial that the engineer who supervised the construction of the North End tanks did not even know how to read the drawings and that the tanks were then painted to match the color of the molasses to hide the constant leaks

As a result of these revelations and the tragedy arising from such neglect, Massachusetts introduced stricter construction codes, which essentially created the idea and the requirement of "accountability in the construction."

A year ago, liability insurance was in their early days. (IRMI: Early Liabili For Coverage.) Companies rarely had adequate insurance and the courts were often a victim who was only a financial remedy for damages or loss.

Today, corporate insurance is a social security net that protects a business owner from financial losses and provides financial cure for personal injury, death, and property loss by third parties, as well as for a business owner's legal costs. In addition, insurance companies play another important role, providing an additional layer of public protection through identification of risks and losses in the insurance process, as well as loss prevention skills for entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in more information about this unusual disaster, we have included some links and a video clip of a 22-minute video documentary.


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