Bedford Magazine Explosion

Bedford Magazine Explosion, 18-19 July 1945, initiated when an ammunition barge blew up at the naval magazine jetty on Bedford Basin, Halifax harbour. Fire spread quickly to adjacent piles of ammunition, which had been temporarily stored outside because of overcrowding in the main compound. A chain reaction of fire, explosion and concussion rocked Halifax for a day.

Contingency plans existed for such an accident, and by late July 18, much of Halifax's northern half had been evacuated smoothly. None of the explosions approached the force of the 1917 HALIFAX EXPLOSION, but shattered windows, cracked plaster, occasional minor injuries and one death were reported. The community felt a lingering resentment towards the navy after the VE-DAY RIOTS, but voluntary firefighting by naval personnel at the ammunition depot largely offset this negative feeling.