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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

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