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Video still from KHOU Houston

Molasses Spill near Sugar Land One Sweet Mess

July 18, 2008 11:02 AM
by Anne Szustek
A truck spilled 5,000 gallons of molasses on Texas Highway 6 in suburban Houston during Thursday afternoon’s rush hour, shutting down a section of the road until midnight.

30-Second Summary

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The semi trailer jackknifed near the intersection of Highway 6 and the Southwest Freeway around 4:20 pm Thursday, when the driver, John Albert Loya, “was attempting to make a turn from the southbound feeder of US 59 onto State Highway 6,” reported Houston CBS station KHOU.

“There is no environmental problem, just healthy, all natural molasses,” said Pat Pollicoff, a spokesperson for the city of Sugar Land, Texas.

Molasses, the most commonly used sweetener in America until the late 19th century, is a nutrient-rich byproduct of sugar refining. One serving supplies a sizeable amount of the daily recommended intake of several minerals, including iron, manganese and calcium. In addition to culinary uses, molasses is also used in production of rum and in cattle feed—the intended destination of the molasses spilled on Highway 6.

Loya was taken to Sugar Land Methodist Hospital for minor head injuries. The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 went down as a far greater tragedy, however.

On Jan. 19, 1919, a large tank of molasses geared for rum production exploded in Boston’s North End, flooding two city blocks and killing 21.

Headline Link: ‘Molasses Spill Shuts Down Texas 6 at Southwest Freeway’

Video: ‘Molasses Spill Closes Highway 6’

Key Player: Molasses

Historical Context: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919

Related Topics: Other interesting truck spills

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