Another view of the aftermath of the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919. Image courtesy of Boston Public Library.
The scene in 2014:
Because of the properties of molasses, a flood of it is very different from a flood of water or similar liquid. Many victims of the January 15, 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster drowned in the molasses, not necessarily because they didn’t know how to swim, but because swimming in molasses is impossible. It also made rescue and recovery operations difficult; notice the firemen wading in knee-deep molasses, with everything around them coated in it. In this particular scene, they are working next to a firehouse that once existed along the waterfront; it was completely swept off of its foundation by the 25-foot wave of molasses that came when the nearby storage tank burst. One fireman at the station, George Layhe, was trapped under the building and drowned in the molasses; he was one of the 21 people killed in the accident. Today, the site of the molasses tank and the firehouse has been turned into a public park, as seen in the 2014 photo.