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from vanessa berry

  • the spanish cooking oil tragedy, 1981-1989. upon reading that name, i picture people getting deep fried. turns out what happened is that adulterated cooking oil was sold freely in spain for a period of time long enough to cause nearly 600 deaths and thousands of cases of illness. the rapeseed oil (surely one of the worst names for a cooking product) was suitable only for industrial use, however it was passed off as suitable for cooking. little did people know, as they were frying their bacon, that they were about to poison themselves. 

  • the boston molasses flood, 1919. probably one of the strangest disasters ever occurred when a giant tank full of molasses ruptured, and molasses poured through the streets at 50 km/h, in a wave the height of 4 metres. 21 people drowned in the molasses, and everything was very sticky for quite a while afterwards. 

  • tulips prices plummet, 17th century. tulips? how on earth can they cause a disaster? in the 17th century, the dutch economy was dependent on tulips, which at the time were very valuable. when the price collapsed, widespread suicides and poverty resulted.

* ohio gas explosion, 1944. pigeons fell to the ground, having been roasted in mid-air.

# the black market express, Naples , 1944. named as such because of the many black market traders who travelled on the service, this train was involved in the weirdest rail disaster ever. upon getting stuck in a tunnel, and the overloading of the coal engine, a lethal amount of carbon monoxide was released. all of the 517 sleeping passengers were killed, as they had been travelling, sitting in their carriages. the death train was towed back to the nearby station, where the bodies were lined up on for identification.

jun 20 2009 ∞
nov 12 2011 +