Halifax, Nova Scotia Great Explosion II

Lead: The chance collision of two merchant ships and a subsequent huge explosion in December 1917 nearly destroyed the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canadians and the world helped bring it back.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early morning hours of December 6, 1917, Imro, a Norweigian ship headed to pick up relief supplies for the suffering in Belgium, sliced into the side of the French freighter, Mont Blanc, in the narrow Halifax harbor channel leading to the open sea. Mont Blanc was load with tons of explosives and extremely flammable benzol. The encounter loosed the benzol and sparks, caused by scraping metal, set it ablaze. The ship drifted into the crowded docks of Halifax and at about 9:06 Mont Blanc blew up. The ship simply disintegrated and sent a fireball and mushroom cloud miles into the air.

Halifax, Nova Scotia Great Explosion I

Lead: In December 1917, Halifax, the capital of Canada’s maritime province of Nova Scotia was nearly leveled by the greatest man-made explosion prior to Hiroshima.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Established as a military outpost in 1754, by the turn of the twentieth century Halifax had become one most important commercial centers on Canada’s east coast. During World War I, ships, thousands of them, crowded the city’s harbor and narrow channel, the staging area for east-bound convoys bringing much needed supplies and munitions to the allies fighting in Europe.