Boston Molasses Flood Introduction Boston Molasses Flood has been described as “a disaster and America’s finest surreal.”


Boston Molasses Flood


Boston Molasses Flood has been described as “a disaster and America’s finest surreal.” (Park 2004) On January 15, 1919, tank 58 feet high filled with more than 2 million gallons of molasses exploded in the end in Boston North, creating a flood literal substance viscous, with waves up to 50 feet by some accounts that crushes everything in its path. The 20city horses and there were over 21 people killing and injuring another 150, and the dead, and destroyed six wooden buildings.

While the real cause of the disaster has never been established conclusively, may have contributed to several factors. Among them were the cold weather in Boston during the second week of January and a rise in temperature that occurred later in the days before the disaster, which may have contributed to the fermentation of molasses and increase the internal pressure of the tank. Although in January 1919 has not started in the cold, especially in Boston, a rise in temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit and was in the first two days of the month, much higher than normal and the cold wave sweeping the city by the middle of this month (Puleo 2004). A short blurb that ran in the Boston Globe daily on Thursday, January 9, read, “and was” Thursday rain or snow, forecasting weather man last night. On Friday, he said, there will be no cold weather. “(Park 2004)

It gave rise in temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit at 9 and a means to some of the coldest temperatures of the season by the next morning, when he fell down to the low degree Fahrenheit (8) with the passage of a cold front, which also brought wind south-west speed to 34 miles per hour. “When the mercury dropped to the bottom of the thermometer yesterday morning, and remained constant at 8 degrees above zero 8:15 to 8:30,” (Puleo 2004) read the report in the Globe the next day, every day, “was recorded in the coldest weather in winter weather bureau Boston “.



In Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Flood Boston Molasses, molasses, a great tragedy, I signed on January 15, 1919, in the neighborhood of the northern edge of the city of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. And storage of large molasses tank exploded, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at 1 mph estimated 35 (56 km / h), killing 21 and wounding 150. This event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses (Park 2004).

The disaster occurred at the company facility in purity distillation January 15, 1919, on an unusually warm (40 ˚ F) (Puleo 2004). At the time, molasses was the standard and desalination in the United States. It can also be fermented molasses to produce rum and ethyl alcohol, the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages other, and a key element in the manufacture of munitions at the time. Now called molasses stored awaiting transfer to the Purity plant situated between Willow Street and in what manner Evereteze, in Cambridge.

Near field Keany, in 529 commercial streets, and a huge molasses tank collapsed 50 feet (15 meters) tall, 90 feet (27 meters) in diameter and containing as much as 2,300,000 U.S. (8.7 million liters) (Park 2004). Eyewitnesses said that they collapsed, and there was a loud rumbling, like machine gun fire from nails and tanks, and that the earth shook as if a train passes.



The cause of the accident was not known with certainty, but was found on the company and makes them liable to pay compensation. It has contributed too many of the factors that occurred on that day and previous days of the disaster. Reservoir was built and tested bad enough. Because of fermentation that occurs inside the tank, has raised the production of carbon dioxide from the internal pressure (Puleo 2004).

Rise in local temperatures that occurred during the previous day would also help in building this pressure. Records show that the temperature of the air and rose from 2-41 ° F ° F (-17 ° C to from 5 ° C) over that period. Event of failure of manhole cover near the base of the tank, and it is possible that there is a fatigue crack has grown to a forest. Pressure-hop is the greatest near the base of a cylindrical tank filled (Park 2004). Only have been filled to capacity tank eight times since it was built a few years ago, the walls and put under load, intermittent periodic.

The investigation revealed that after the disaster gel Arthur, who oversaw the construction, neglected basic safety tests, such as filling the tank with water to check for a leak. Squadron tanks when filled with molasses, so badly, who painted it, brown to hide the leaks. Collected from the local population molasses leaked from their homes; the tank exploded, sent pieces of metal flying in all directions (Puleo 2004). One large piece smashed through the support of the rail is high. Fortunately, he was able train driver on alert to stop his train moments before they reach the broken tracks.

It also exploded the tank apart, and was a huge wall of molasses pouring. The wall was approximately 15 to 20 feet high and reached speeds of up to 35 miles per hour in the area around the tank (Park 2004). The larger mass of sticky goo was flowing soon to the streets of Boston destroying everything in its path. It knocked on the wave of established fire station, and destroyed another building of the municipality.

City workers were trapped at least a dozen in the second building. It filled the cellars in the homes of people with molasses, while sucked anyone who stood in their way in to the destructive chaos of a boil. Horse-drawn wagon was selected by a wave and landed on the fence. And became both the horses and the people are stuck (Puleo 2004). Was chosen car vehicle up and smashed. People crushed inside their homes and others have become stuck in the molasses. And try a few intrepid souls to swim in the sticky goo but without success. Some things fell in Boston Harbor with debris with it. By the end of the day, and has been covered many buildings and roads with molasses (Park 2004).



At the time of the explosion, the workers can enjoy their lunch break. No one, therefore, he watched as molasses tank exploded. I heard many of the blast, though; it has been described as resembling the noise of a machine gun. There heard the roar of machine gun-like nails that held together tank explosion at a time. As stated in the tank at a time, and witnesses said the ground shook as if from a train passing nearby (Puleo 2004).

It was the reason for the destructive Boston Molasses Disaster of the sheer size of the molasses tank that exploded. The tank, which amounted to 529 Commercial Street (by Keany square), and 50 feet, and had a diameter of 90 feet. At the time of the disaster, and it was almost a full tank, which held 2300000 gallons of molasses.

With rupture of the tank, and the status of a wave as high as it was launched 15 feet, sweeping around the outside to the streets. Contrary to the reputation of slow-moving molasses, rushed abroad in the wave speed is estimated at 35 miles per hour. Contributed to the high density and viscosity of molasses to the enormous destructive power of the wave of molasses, that exerted pressure of about 2,000 pounds per square foot (about twice the atmospheric pressure) (Park 2004).

This high pressure, in addition to the enormous speed of the wave, and destroyed almost everything in the immediate vicinity. And mangled girders on a raised platform near the railway, at the same time, a train were lifted off the tracks. The wave number of the homes was out of their foundations, and other downtrodden; and killed one woman, Bridget Clougherty, after her house collapsed on them (Puleo 2004). Also it carried large pieces of metal from a tank rupture with them, which wreaked havoc in the wave spread abroad. I took one such as the cortex outside the home of cargo in flight, resulting in the deaths of many workers who were inside it.

The rescuers were already on the scene when the molasses came finally to rest. Included people involved in rescue work, police, and men of the harbor patrol vessel, the military base of a nearby United States Army, and ambulances full of Red Cross volunteers. They have fallen in all this mess within an hour and covered everything with sticky goo (Park 2004).

Rescue teams had a hard time too walk through this mess, and many of them had their boots sucked right off their feet. Later in the day, it became when the temperature dropped, and molasses and began to tighten a little, it is difficult for the rescue teams to recover people trapped outside. Many of the people trapped that the pieces of their clothing in order to get free. Unfortunately, he was trapped on the horses to be shot by the police and rescue workers because they cannot release (Puleo 2004).

Significantly in the next day to begin the cleanup process is long and tedious. Firefighters eat sticky with hoses. The water from fire hydrants is no use because the fresh water and only wash right out of the molasses. To make any progress, they had to use salt water from the port. When struck by salt water, molasses for all frothy yellow and sudsy. It took months to pump the molasses from the cellars with hydraulic absorbed. No matter how hard they tried, cleaning crews cannot get rid of all of the sticky goo (Park 2004).

Unfortunately, killing 21 people and injured 150 others. Has been strangling some of the molasses, and crushed by some falling objects, while another wave swept through the port. It was not found on two of the victims even after four days (Puleo 2004). By that time, was beaten to their bodies and glazed, which cannot be determined at the beginning.

Even after the completion of the cleaning crews, have been the remains sensitive for months. Wherever people walked in their shoes will stumbled remains goo. Molasses has been published by the crews to work beyond the actual terms of a wave of molasses and the stop for months every door handle, and every phone, every chair, every table was sticky. And also stained with Brown Boston Harbor for a period of six months, and can be detected the smell of molasses in the city for a longer period (Park 2004).

At the end of the day, arrived distillation to the court. There were 119 different suits made against them. United States has spent more than alcohol company $ 50,000 on expert witness fees, claiming that no accident was caused by the presence of a structural weakness of the bomb throwing anarchists were responsible for this mess. And that there were some bombs throwing anarchists around at that time, there was no evidence that any one of them after he threw a grenade at a tank molasses. Even without any evidence of their claim, and the distillation still believed they would win the case for more than 21 people who died and a lot of people who were prosecuted them were poor (Puleo 2004).

Sessions and continued for 300 days, and was called more than 3000 witnesses to the stand to testify. And recorded 45,000 pages of testimony and arguments; in the end, and asked the tank owners to pay nearly $ 1 million in compensation; an enormous amount of money in 1919.

It was concluded that the poor construction and filling of the tank is responsible for this disaster. When investigators went to City Hall to consider the plans made when the reservoir was built they could not find any (Park 2004). Inspectors said building in the city that was needed to the construction plans because the tank was not the building but an industrial device. The Ministry of Industry people said that it was not industrial, but the device structure. Soon became clear that the tank was built with the absence of approved plans, not government inspectors concerned.

The other theory is widely discussed that the molasses had been expanded due to the sudden increase in air temperature. The day before the incident was not the only 2 degrees Fahrenheit. On the day of the disaster and the temperature rose to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (Puleo 2004).


Disaster Theories

Speculation about the cause of the failure of the tank is still to this day. One explanation is that the popularity of molasses, which was held in the tank, began to ferment in warm weather than usual in January Carbon dioxide resulting from fermentation and trapped inside the tank expand beyond the capacity and the strength of the tank, causing it to burst at the seams (Park 2004).

For the purposes of the second theory that was built just a bad tank and never tested at maximum capacity. As the tank was filled beyond the limits of actual, walls cracked and exploded. Local residents reported that the tank leaked in many cases, some of the molasses that have been collected so leaked on a regular basis for home use (Puleo 2004).

Some have gone as far as conspiracy theories aimed at ensuring that the tank was in good condition but it was filled beyond maximum capacity for the production of rum before the laws of the ban looming on the horizon come into force. However, the distillation tank, which has not produced rum, there were no plans registered to do so. Purity distillation, and used the company that owned the tank, and molasses for the production of industrial alcohol. Raced thick, churning river of molasses in the streets causing damage cannot be overcome. In the end, 150 people were injured and killed 21 people (Park 2004).

The molasses and traveled with such force that lifted out of the train tracks, and people picked up and moved hundreds of feet, and raised many of the buildings off of their foundations. In some areas, and molasses reached at a depth of 2-3 feet. The cleaning process continued for several days, and took 87,000 man hours to complete (Puleo 2004). And continued the search and rescue and only four days, and included members of the army, navy and the Red Cross, and Boston police. Despite the stringent clean-up efforts, and reported to the port continues to be black with molasses well in the summer. Legend has it that to this day, in the heat of summer, and the smell of molasses still fills the air at the end of North Boston (Park 2004).


Summary and Opinion

Disaster Boston Molasses is a typical example of engineers does not do their duties properly. Although the exact cause of the disaster is still unknown, but almost all fingers point directly to the people who were responsible for the quality of analysis and testing of the tank. Arthur argues that the gel is the main reason for that was responsible for the verification of the tanks for leaks. This is the case given to the person responsible, but failed to do so (Puleo 2004).

The latest claim was that the owners of trucks, in order to earn more profits filled the truck, which resulted in the explosion. In this situation for truck owners defended their own personal risk, the lives of thousands of Americans. This is also the practice is very unethical.

According to the IEEE Code of ethics, “a person must disclose the factors that may jeopardize the prompt to the public or the environment.” (Park 2004) The engineers here are guilty of not following the IEEE because they have known the implications of such a disaster, and should be tried to warn the heads of companies or if needed to be more radical, the highest authority that would stop them.

It did not because such an explosion molasses tank at Purity is determined by a final distillation. Of the owners of companies, for its part, felt that the offender was a bomb placed inside the tank by the anarchists. Despite the somewhat absurd on its face, this argument cannot be imagined: it was being fermented and molasses to be used by the U.S. Army, and bomb attacks and had not heard of just at the time. Still, the investigators found no evidence of a bomb, so this theory is more or less ruled out (Puleo 2004).

The other theories that an explosion occurred inside the tank, and the payment by the derivatives of gaseous fermentation, and it fails in the structure occurred in the tank, which was only four years old at the time. The Inspectors found that in the end the latter theory the best explanation blast molasses (Park 2004).

The accumulation of carbon dioxide at least partially responsible for the failure of the tank, though. It exacerbated a significant increase in temperature the previous day (from 2 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit) this accumulation of pressure. The location of the failure of the slot; inspectors suspect a crack deployed there until it reached forest, and unleash the enormous size of molasses at a time. This may be because of the fatigue crack, a reservoir, and certainly have been subjected to fatigue-inducing conditions, as it fills the tank and drained again and again (and thus creating a periodic pregnancy) . The tension band is likely the culprit here. In fact, the hoop stress is the largest at the base of a reservoir filled, where the manhole cover.

Withdrawal of the investigation was of a disaster for four years, with many of the lawsuits filed by families of the victims. Finally, the Court decided that the safety factor was very low. Basically, it has been poorly managed building, and the container were not safe, in fact in complete folders. The investigation showed also that Arthur gels, the construction manager, you do not perform any safety tests such as standard to check for leaks. Is said, has always been a tank pierced, and painted brown by the workers to hide this error (Puleo 2004).

This was a failure, it seems, can be avoided completely. The reason was the basis for the Boston molasses disaster because of neglect and poor engineering; tank is designed properly it should have been a factor of safety wide enough to bear the full load (Park 2004).

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