THE GREAT BOSTON MOLASSES FLOOD
"Shortly after noon on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents in a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that traveled at thirty-five miles per hour. When the tide receded, a section of the city’s North End had been transformed into a war zone. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one people and scores of animals, injured more than a hundred, and caused widespread destruction."
The above is quoted from author Stephen Puleo, who has published a wonderful book about the flood called "Dark Tide:The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919." It tells the story of what happened and also places the event in historical context. Both gnomi and I read the book and highly recommend it. For more information on the book, you can visit his website at http://www.stephenpuleo.com/
(Disclaimer: I have never met Mr. Puleo. We just like his book.)
For more information on the flood, including some links, see http://www.boston-online.com/bizarro/disasters.html.