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First World War (1914-1918)
The Halifax Explosion

In December 1917, a collision between the relief ship SS Imo and the munitions ship SS Mont Blanc in the port of Halifax led to a massive explosion that devastated the harbour and the city, killing thousands.

Fragment of the SS Mont Blanc
Fragment of the SS Mont Blanc

This torn and twisted piece of metal from the French freighter SS Mont Blanc testifies to the force of the Halifax Explosion.

In the early morning of 6 December 1917, two ships, the SS Mont Blanc and the SS Imo, collided in Halifax harbour. The Mont Blanc, carrying explosives, caught fire and exploded a little after 9:00 AM, creating the largest human-made explosion to that date. The North End of Halifax was levelled, and throughout the city 1,600 people were killed and 9,000 more injured. Many were blinded by flying glass from shattered windows.

Ship Fragment
CWM 19390002-129

Fragment of the SS Mont Blanc
Halifax Pier, 1917
YMCA Building, Halifax, 1917
Dockyard Gate, Halifax, 1917
Albert Medal, First Class Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kenneth Triggs
Albert Medal, Second Class Able Seaman William Becker
HMS Highflyer
HMCS Niobe, 1917
Cadet Robert Brett, 1917
Medal Set, Robert Brett
SS Imo and Halifax Sugar Refinery
HMCS Lady Evelyn after the Halifax Explosion
Captain Edward H. Martin