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Halifax Explosion


December 6, 1917. Belgian relief ship Imo is leaving Halifax harbour as French ship Mont Blanc is entering the harbour not an uncommon sight as the port city was ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Halifax Explosion

Halifax Explosion
  • 1917

December 6, 1917
  • Belgian relief ship Imo is leaving Halifax
    harbour as French ship Mont Blanc is entering
    the harbour not an uncommon sight as the port
    city was busy due to the shipping of troops,
    weapons and relief supplies.
  • Mont Blanc was carrying a full cargo of
    explosives incl. 300 rounds of ammunition, 2300
    tonnes of picric acid, and 400,000lbs of TNT.

Mont Blanc
What Went Wrong?
  • Due to miscommunication between the ships, the
    desire to not change course, and the difficulty
    of quickly moving large ships, Imo and Mont Blanc
  • Aware of the explosives on board the Mont Blanc
    crew quickly boarded lifeboats and screamed
    warnings to those watching as the ship set

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  • Mont Blanc was on fire.
  • As it drifted passed Halifax pier it was set
  • The Fire Department rushed to the pier to control
    the fire.
  • They were their for mere moments when the ship

  • The blast killed 1900 immediately and as days
    passed bodies found and deaths from wounds rose
    this number to greater than 2000.
  • Around 9000 more were injured many permanently.
    More than 250 eyes needed to be removed, 38 were
    left completely blind, and 25 limbs were
  • 250 bodied were so badly disfigured they could
    not be identified and many more simply went
  • Small shards of glass flew at such a speed during
    the explosion that some 20 years later people had
    glass come to the surface of their skin.

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Why so many casualties?
  • Explosion occurred 20 minutes after collision,
    allowing thousands to gather at the port, and
    stand watch at their windows.
  • Curiosity drove people close to the scene What
    happened? Did the Germans attack?
  • People did not realize boat was full of
  • 1000 people sustained eye injuries from looking
    out their window at the explosion.

Physical Destruction
  • 325 acres of Halifax was destroyed.
  • Winter stockpiles of coal burned down many homes.
  • Parts of the ship were found several miles away
    from the site of explosion.
  • The shock wave was felt as far as 270 miles away.

Physical Destruction
  • 13,000 homes and businesses were damaged or
    completely wrecked.
  • Resulting in 6000 homeless.
  • Windows in a 50 mile radius were shattered.

And then came the water and snow
  • Within minutes the dazed survivors were awash in
    water. The blast provoked a tsunami that washed
    up as high as 18 meters above the harbour's
    high-water mark on the Halifax side.
  • The next day Halifax was covered in 16 inches of
    snow as a blizzard hit.
  • This slowed all rescue efforts.
  • People trapped in fallen buildings froze to death
    before they could be saved.

To the Rescue
  • Money came in from all over the world as far
    away as New Zealand and China.
  • CAN govt gave 18 mill
  • BRIT govt gave 5 mill
  • State of Massachusetts donated 750,000 and goods.
  • To this day Halifax sends Boston a Christmas tree
    as a thanks for their assistance.

Back on their feet
  • Within 7 weeks 3000 homes were repaired.
  • Temporary apts. were being built at a rate of 1
    per hr.
  • 328 hydrostone homes quickly put up.
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