Business Police & Fire “Molasses > Gas > HazMat: What Have We Learned”

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Molasses > Gas > Hazmat: What Have We Learned?

by Guild Nichols

January 15th marked the day ninety-two years ago when a torrent of molasses flooded Boston’s North End waterfront killing 21 people and injuring 150. Two years later, the State Legislature voted to avert still another potential disaster – by removing a massive illuminating gas tank on Prince Street in the heart of the neighborhood – that threatened the lives of tens of thousands of residents.

Now, nine decades later, the City government and State Legislature are confronted with another pending disaster – the threat posed by truckloads of explosive materials, hazardous chemicals and toxic wastes that are transported daily through the North End, the City center and Boston’s financial district. Are there lessons to be learned over these past 92 years and, if so, what are they?

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