Tag Archives: Mont-Blanc

Remembering the 6th of December – Halifax Explosion

My apologies, this was meant to be published yesterday but I was sidelined by a migraine.

An annual remembrance ceremony is held at the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower on December 6, with a short silence just before 9:05 a.m., the time of the explosion.

An annual remembrance ceremony is held at the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower on December 6, with a short silence just before 9:05 a.m., the time of the explosion.

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.

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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.

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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

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