Century Immediately after Halifax’s Great Explosion, Metropolis Marks Anniversary

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – To much of the world, this city is from the sinking of the Titanic because a lot of its victims’ bodies were brought here to Halifax to get buried.

But residents of Halifax, and Canadians in general, associate the location with an even more deadly maritime disaster – an explosion in 1917 after a seemingly minimal harbor collision between a French munitions ship and a Norwegian vessel carrying food aid to Belgium.

The blast leveled much of the north end of the town, killed about 2,000 persons and injured perhaps 10,000 others, including practically 600 persons who were blinded, mainly by shattered glass.

The explosion brought the terror and death of World War I to THE UNITED STATES. Some authorities say that not until the earliest atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima performed the world witness a man-produced explosion that produced considerably more casualties, covered a more substantial area, destroyed more home and produced considerably more explosive force.

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Not by coincidence, scientists on the Manhattan Project studied the Halifax disaster to predict the probable effects of their weapons.

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