My apologies, this was meant to be published yesterday but I was sidelined by a migraine.
The 6th of December has been a day of remembrance here in Halifax since 1917. That was the day the French cargo ship, the SS Mont-Blanc, collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in the Narrows of the Halifax Harbour. The Mont-Blanc was fully loaded with wartime explosives and the collision caused a fire on board ignited her cargo and caused a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the city.
The Halifax Explosion was the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, with an equivalent force of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.
How this disaster happened is quite the story of circumstance and bad luck, and is definitely worth a Google. It basically boils down to the dangerous cargo laden Mont Blanc being allowed in the harbour due to the threat of nearby German U-boats, and the stubborn Captain of the Imo refusing to give the proper right of way. Continue reading