Halifax seeks living survivors of devastating 1917 blast that killed thousands


Published on April 19, 2017

The aftermath of the 1917 Halifax ship explosion is shown in a file photo. Halifax is issuing a call for an extremely specific kind of centenarian - one who survived the massive blast that ripped through the city 100 years ago. In 1917, a cargo ship carrying explosives collided with another vessel in Halifax Harbour, sparking a catastrophic explosion that killed about 2,000 people and levelled much of the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/National Archives of Canada

Halifax is issuing a call for an extremely specific kind of centenarian — one who survived the massive blast that ripped through the city 100 years ago.

In 1917, a cargo ship carrying explosives collided with another vessel in Halifax Harbour, sparking a catastrophic explosion that killed about 2,000 people and levelled much of the city.

They are currently no confirmed living survivors.

As part of the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, a special advisory committee to regional council is searching for them.

Committee chairman Craig Walkington said survivors will likely have to be at least 104 years old to have their own personal memories of the blast.

He said any survivors will be asked to attend the commemorative ceremony in December, where they will be formally recognized.

A Halifax spokesman said the city will be promoting the call for living survivors on social media this afternoon.

The Canadian Press