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The Halifax Explosion was the result of the SS Imo, a Norwegian vessel, colliding with the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, in the Narrows of the Halifax Harbour on the morning of Thursday December 6, 1917, eleven months before the end of the First World War. The Mont-Blanc was carrying highly explosive picric acid, benzol, TNT and gun cotton.
The exact number of dead and injured people in Dartmouth and Halifax is unknown. The cities bustled with wartime activity, and many people passed through, heading to one destination or another. It is impossible to know if all bodies were recovered or counted. In one interview from 1957, a man who helped make grave markers said more than 3,000 were needed.
The confirmed deaths were 1,950. There were approximate 9,000 non-fatal injuries. More than 25,000 people were left homeless. The explosion went down in history as the largest man-made explosion of its time.
On December 6, 2017, Nova Scotia will commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.
To pay tribute to the many victims, survivors and heroes who emerged from the disaster, Quarter Castle Publishing has gathered a collection of original fictional short stories connected to the Explosion. Stories are set immediately before it, during it or in its aftermath.
The Nova Scotia authors who contributed stories are Sheila McDougall, Phil Yeats, Lawren Snodgrass, Catherine A. MacKenzie, Polly J. Brown, Diane Lynn McGyver, Cheryl Lynn Davis, Bronwen Piper, Barbara-Jean Moxsom, Liana Olive Quinn and Annemarie Hartnett.