The Halifax Explosion Essay Research Paper Vince

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The Halifax Explosion Essay, Research Paper Vince Coleman On December sixth, 1917 a train dispatcher named Vince Coleman was running the dispatch office beside the Halifax harbor. But one sailor who knew about the imminent explosion ran past the railway freight yards, warning Coleman and Lovett to clear out. Vince Coleman knew what was at stake when he ran back to tap out his crucial message. Vince Coleman was thinking about the passenger trains speeding towards the threatened harbor. He had to stop them. Coleman telegraphed his urgent warning. At precisely 9:06 the worst man-made explosion (at its time) tore through Halifax, causing two thousand deaths including the life of Vince Coleman. Nine thousand were wounded. One brave man sacrificed his life to save seven hundred

others. The seven hundred others were aboard a passenger train headed for Halifax. The story In many ways it was a typical early winter day in Halifax that December sixth, 1917. The sun was bright in a clear sky and the ground was clear of snow. A light haze hung over the harbor but visibility was generally very good. During the war the harbor bustled with convoys of men and materials bound for Europe. But on the night of December fifth, two ships’ captains anxiously awaited departure. Aboard the Imo, a Belgian relief ship at anchor in the harbor, Captain From was annoyed that a late inspection had forced him to delay until morning. Outside the harbor lay the French steamship Mont Blanc, its captain, Aim Le Medec, awaiting morning permission to the harbor and official

clearance. Captain Le Medec had good reason to feel nervous. Four days earlier his freighter had been loaded with lots of picric acid, TNT, gun cotton and benzol. The Mont Blanc was a floating bomb. At 7:30 a.m., on December sixth, the Mont Blanc began its slow entry into the harbor just as the Imo pulled up anchor. Forced to the wrong side of the channel by a steamer and tugboat, the Imo continued its improper course in direct line with the incoming Mont Blanc. The two ships sighted each other. There was confusion of whistle blasts, misunderstood signals and, at 8:45 a.m., a disastrous collision. As blacks smoke and flames rose from the Mont Blanc, crowds gathered on the Pier to watch the excitement. Factory workers, stevedores, mothers and children rushed to the best viewing

points. The thirty-five tons of benzol that were stored on the open decks were soon to catch fire. The only man on board the ship who knew of the fragile cargo was Captain Aim Le Medec. Boats soon were pulling up besides the floating time bomb and casually attempting to put out the fire. Some of the sailors were jumping overboard and swimming to the main land. Then it happened! Suddenly there was an ear-piercing boom as the Mont Blanc was blown to pieces. A wave of fire swept through the north end of Halifax destroying most everything in it s path. Then a sonic boom of air rushed through the city smashing windows and throwing glass into the people who were standing near them. In one part of the city was a military fort surrounded by a large wall. All the homes behind the fort

were safe. Last but not least a gigantic wave of water from the harbor Covered Halifax like a blanket. The Aftermath When the sonic boom of air tore through Halifax it threw shards of glass into the people s eyes who were near any glass windows. At this time the medical knowledge to treat eyes was just spreading it s wings into the world. The city of Boston sent in a lot of doctors to help the injured. Now every year the city of Halifax sends Boston a Christmas tree as a thank you gift. Six thousand citizens were left homeless. The military built homes in Halifax for the homeless. Mont Blanc The Mont Blanc was an ammunition ship bound for Europe. It was coming from New York to the Halifax harbor. The Mont Blanc was a French steamer; it was 330 feet long and 40 feet wide. Her