[WWI] 86 years to the day since the Halifax Explosion

Chris Banyai-Riepl wwi@wwi-models.org
Sat Dec 6 18:53:00 2003

Warning: Off Topic Post...

While definitely a large explosion, a bit of clarification needs to be made.
The Halifax explosion was the largest explosion before the nuclear age.  The
largest non-nuclear explosion was the Texas City one in 1947, when first the
ship "Grand Camp," loaded with tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer,
exploded.  While that was a nasty explosion, it paled in comparison to the
second ship that went off, the "High Flyer."  That explosion destroyed a
third ship, the "Wilson B. Keene," an entire warehouse, and a grain
elevator, as well as created a tidal wave that flooded the entire waterfront
inland at least 150 feet.  The blast was felt as far away as Houston, where
residents thought it was an earthquake, and a fine oily mist fell on
Galveston.  Nearly all of the Texas City industrial area was leveled, and
the total number of dead remains unknown, although over 600 identified
bodies were removed.  In many cases entire families were vaporized, leaving
no one to notice that they were dead or missing.

An interesting sidenote, the Grand Camp and the High Flyer were both Liberty

I think both the Halifax explosion and the Texas City explosion showed just
what can happen when ships are filled with things that go boom....

Chris Banyai-Riepl
Internet Modeler

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wwi-admin@wwi-models.org [mailto:wwi-admin@wwi-models.org]On
> Behalf Of rayboorman@shaw.ca
> Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2003 3:05 PM
> To: wwi@wwi-models.org
> Subject: [WWI] 86 years to the day since the Halifax Explosion
> Today being December 6th is the 86th anniversary of the largest
> non nuclear explosion when
> a French munitions ship blew up in Halifax harbour in 1917. I've
> been to Halifax and it must
> have been a heck of large explosion since the estuary is darned
> wide where it blew up.
> Anyway here is a link to a site that describes what happened.
> http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mma/AtoZ/halexpl.html
> Ray