Witnesses stated that they heard a loud rumbling sound, like a machine gun as the rivets shot out of the tank, and that the ground shook as if a train were passing by. The bursting tank produced a wave of molasses between 7 and 15 feet high and traveling at 35 miles an hour. Buildings were swept off their foundations and crushed. Even trains were tipped off their tracks as the wave suffocated everything in its path, leaving behind a sticky oozing pool of molasses 2 to 3 feet high.
The Boston Globe reported that people "were picked up by a rush of air and hurled many feet." Others had debris hurled at them from the rush of sweet-smelling air. A truck was picked up and hurled into the harbor. Approximately 150 were injured; 21 people and several horses were killed —crushed and drowned by the molasses.
Cadets from the nearby Massachusetts Nautical School were the first to arrive, followed by the Red Cross, the Boston police and the Army. Some nurses from the Red Cross dived into the molasses, while others tended to the wounded, keeping them warm as well as keeping the exhausted workers fed. Many of these people worked through the night. The injured were so numerous that doctors and surgeons set up a makeshift hospital in a nearby building. Rescuers found it difficult to make their way through the syrup to help the victims. It took four days before they stopped searching for victims; many dead were so glazed over in molasses, they were hard to recognize.
It took over 87,000 man hours to remove the molasses from the streets, theaters, businesses, automobiles, and homes. The harbor was still brown with molasses until summer. Some residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.
|Patrick Breen||44||Laborer (North End Paving Yard)|
|John Callahan||43||Paver (North End Paving Yard)|
|William Duffy||58||Laborer (North End Paving Yard)|
|Peter Francis||64||Blacksmith (North End Paving Yard)|
|James H. Kinneally||Unknown||Laborer (North End Paving Yard)|
|George Layhe||38||Firefighter (Engine 31)|
|James McMullen||46||Foreman, Bay State Express|
|John M. Seiberlich||69||Blacksmith (North End Paving Yard)|
Information taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster