header image via @rob.hys
Want to learn more about the disaster that shaped Atlantic Canada’s largest city 100 years ago but not sure where to start? We’ve got your back. Here’s a basic summary of the catastrophic collision that occurred on the morning of December 6th, 1917.
Cities around the world have been shaped by the major disasters in their past. Events like the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 are responsible for moulding both the cultural and physical aspects of their environment. Unfortunately, Halifax is not exempt from catastrophic disaster, having experienced the Halifax Explosion of 1917.
On the morning of December 6th, the Norwegian aid ship Imo collided with the French arms vessel Mont-Blanc in the narrows, the waterway linking the Bedford Basin and the Halifax Harbour. Although the collision itself was minor, it ignited a fire that burned for twenty minutes, drawing spectators to the shoreline who were unaware of the grave danger presented by the fire. Only a few naval officers and Vincent Coleman, railway dispatcher, knew the explosive cargo that was aboard the Mont-Blanc.