No. 17 - Runic
On 6 December 1917, Runic (ship No.211) as Imo made history when she collided with the French Line's Mont Blanc in Halifax harbour. Mont Blanc, carrying 2800 tons (2545 metric tons) of munitions, exploded, setting off what has been called "the largest manmade explosion … before the first atomic bomb." The blast wiped out the Richmond district of the city in a blast felt up to 270 miles (430 km) away. The casualty figures were astounding: at least 1600 killed, up to 2000 more missing and never found, 9000 injured, 25,000 at least temporarily homeless. In all, over 1600 buildings in a 16 mile (26 km) radius were destroyed and 12,000 more were damaged. The total property loss was estimated at $35,000,000. The explosion also caused a 13 foot (3.96 m) tidal wave that destroyed buildings and damaged warships designed to withstand enemy attack.