The Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917, when two ships collided in the harbour: The Imo and The Mont Blanc. This explosion resulted in Canada’s greatest tragedy in terms of loss of life, and destruction. Take this time to not only remember the tragedy, but the way that the city came together to overcome it.
Here are 7 things you may not know about the Halifax Explosion of 1917:
1 – The Mont Blanc was carrying 2,300 tons of picric acid, 200 tons of TNT, 35 tons of high-octane gasoline, and 10 tons of gun cotton, resulting in the blast.
2 – The Halifax Explosion occurred 21 minutes after the ships collided.
3 – 2,000 people were killed and 9,000 more were injured in the Halifax Explosion.
4 – The Halifax Explosion was the largest man-made explosion prior to the Atomic Bomb (by overall measure of deaths, explosive force, and radius of destruction).
5 – Because of the explosion, window panes throughout Halifax were completely destroyed – leaving 41 people totally blind with a final total of eye injuries at 691.
6 – To thank Boston for their immediate action on delivering supplies and medical recruits, Halifax sends them a Christmas tree each year. This tradition didn’t actually start until 1971.
7 – 1,630 homes were completely destroyed, 12,000 houses were damaged and 6,000 people were left without shelter after the explosion