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Canadian Theme Unit
Halifax's Deadly Explosion



Halifax's Deadly Explosion
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dispatcher, atomic, response, produce, railway, rallied, waterfront, aligned, heavily, port, warning, spite, immediately, explosion, death, event
     content words:    Nova Scotia, World War I., Halifax Harbour, Royal Canadian, United States, Vince Coleman


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Halifax's Deadly Explosion
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     On December 6, 1917, circumstances aligned to produce an event of horrendous proportions. This event was to affect the lives of people not only in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but all over the world.
 
2     It was in the last years of World War I. People were busy supporting the war effort. Halifax Harbour (one of the largest natural harbours of the world) was a base for three Navies; Royal, Royal Canadian, and the United States.
 
3     Early on the morning of December 6, ship traffic was opened. The Imo from Norway was anxious to get out of the harbour. The Mont-Blanc, a heavily loaded munitions ship, was coming in. Both were trying to pass through the Narrows that led to the harbour.
 
4     The two ships crashed and set the Mont-Blanc on fire. She was not flying a munitions flag, so people did not realize the danger as the ship became engulfed in flames. No one, that is, except her French crew, and they abandoned ship.

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