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Ninety-fourth anniversary of the Halifax explosion

A view of the Halifax explosion 20 seconds after the accident occured
A view of the Halifax explosion 20 seconds after the accident occured

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

December 6, 2011 — Halifax Harbour was destroyed when the French Ship “Mont Blanc” exploded on December 6, 1917.

Halifax today
Halifax today

A large part of Halifax was destroyed 94 years ago today, when the “Mont Blanc” - a French ship carrying heavy wartime munitions such as TNT and guncotton - collided with the Norwegian ship the “Imo,” causing a massive explosion in Halifax Harbour.

Approximately 1,800 people died and 9,000 were injured as a result of the explosion, and property damage was estimated to be in excess of $30 million.

Nearly every building within 2 square kilometres was destroyed - along with a significant number of structures in the neighbouring vicinity.

The Imo was thrown ashore on the Dartmouth side of the Narrows by a huge tsunami that followed the blast, which was so powerful it caused windows to shatter as far away as Truro - more than 90 kilometres from the accident site.

Today - the rain held off long enough for people to gather and remember those who fell victim to the explosion, at a memorial service and public reception held this morning in Halifax.

The memorial is an annual event in Nova Scotia, reserved to commemorate what is considered to be the largest disaster the province has ever seen.

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