Friday, 6 December 2013

96 years ago: Halifax Explosion

The Halifax Explosion occurred near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on the morning of December 6, 1917.

Before the atomic bomb on Hiroshima it was the worst man-made explosion in history...

Halifax Explosion

World War I was more than 3 years old... French cargo ship SS Mont-Blanc fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Narrows, a strait connecting the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin.

Approximately twenty minutes later, a fire on board the French ship ignited her explosive cargo, causing a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the Richmond District of Halifax. More than 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and it is estimated that nearly 9,000 others were injured.

After Halifax Explosion

All of the crew on the Mont Blanc evacuated the ship before it exploded, but crew on deck in the Imo was killed, but the crew members below deck all survived.

Halifax Explosion aftermath

Many people in Halifax at first believed the explosion to be a German attack (or at least, diversion).

Only on December 6, 1992, the Halifax Fire Department erected a monument in honour of the nine members who died attempting to fight the fire on SS Mont-Blanc.