Shattered City


TV Mini-Series 2003

It was the height of the First World War. Munitions were desperately needed to supply the Allied troops and Halifax was at the epicenter of the massive movement of men and munitions. But in the early hours of the morning on the 6th of December 1917 something went horribly wrong. The Mont Blanc, a French owned freighter loaded to the gunnels with thousands of tons of explosives collided with a Belgian relief ship, catching on fire and at 9:05am exploding in Halifax Harbour.

A gigantic mushroom cloud emerged above the city and the shock waves were felt for hundreds of miles. Fires swept through the city incinerating those trapped in the wreckage, and for those that escaped the fire, freezing temperatures brought death. Hours after the explosion, the most savage storm in ten years buried this carnage beneath a two foot blanket of snow. The explosion was so vast that it killed over 2000 people, injured 9000 more and completely flattened two square kilometers of northern Halifax. In the aftermath of the largest pre-atomic explosion in history, the once thriving port city and its citizens were reduced to basic survival.

Out of the ashes of this historic catastrophe come the personal stories of small sacrifices and great heroism. Those are the stories at the heart of this unforgettable drama.