|Accident type||: Explosion|
|Vessels involved||: SS Mont-Blanc and SS Imo|
|Date||: December 6, 1917|
|Casualties||: 2,000 died and 6,000 injured|
|Name||: SS Mont-Blanc|
|Built in||: 1899|
|Type||: General Cargo|
|Tonnage||: 3121 gross tons|
|Length||: 98 m (320 ft)|
|Beam||: 13.7 m (44.8 ft)|
|Depth||: 4.7 m (15.3 ft)|
The SS Mont-Blanc was a freighter built in Middlesbrough, England in 1899. On December 6, 1917, in Nova Scotia’s busy Halifax Harbor, the SS Mont-Blanc, a French ship was loaded with a full cargo of highly volatile explosives. As she made her way through the Narrows towards Bedford Basin, she was involved in a collision with the Norwegian ship, SS Imo.
After the collision, fire broke out on the SS Mont-Blanc, which soon ran aground on the Halifax waterfront, where a crowd had gathered to watch the burning ship. About 20 minutes after the collision, the fire ignited the 2,925 tons of explosives the SS Mont-Blanc was transporting and sparked a massive blast.
The blast killed scores of people instantly and devastated the surrounding area, toppling buildings, setting entire blocks ablaze and triggering a tsunami.
More than 2,000 people died as a result of what became known as the Halifax Explosion—the largest man-made blast until the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945– while more than 6,000 others were injured and some 9,000 people were left homeless.