HALIFAX CITY IS WRECKED
FEARED THAT HALF OF HALIFAX IS IN RUINS
SHELL SHIP COLLISION KILLS, BURNS, WRECKS
Fires Break Out in Dozen Parts of Halifax, Several Miles Area in Utter Ruin, as a Result of Another Vessel Ramming American Munition Ship
HUNDREDS ARE DEAD, THOUSANDS HURT, CARS BLOWN OFF TRACKS TWO MILES AWAY
Amherst, N.S., Dec. 4 - Several scores of people have been killed, hundreds of buildings destroyed and a portion of Halifax set on fire by an explosion which occurred following the collision of an American ammunition ship and another vessel at Rockingham, according to telephone messages [illegible] this morning. The explosion was so terrific that it destroyed [illegible] in the telegraph and telephone offices for thirty miles around [illegible] while it was heard at Truro, sixty-one miles distant.
[illegible] reports on the destruction at Halifax said that the whole city [illegible] of the Queen’s Hotel is a mass of wreckage, and that fires have [illegible] up in a dozen parts of the city. The area affected is several miles The Canadian Government depot, also used by the C.P.R., is depicted as [illegible], while the repairing plant at Willow Park is wrecked.
COLLISION CAUSED EXPLOSION, KILLED CREWS.
It is reported that the American munition steamer was moving out from the pier and was rammed broadside by another vessel. Instantly there was a tremendous explosion, which practically destroyed the two [illegible] and killed their crews. The concussion resulting caused the roof of the [illegible] depot at North Street to collapse, while all the warehouses on the water front for a mile and a half were damaged. The premises affected in these places caught fire.
The vessels collided soon after 8.30 this morning, and it is presumed that the munitions ship was hit in the stokehold, because instantly flames were seen to pour from her. The crew appeared to make an effort to get the fire fighting apparatus to work, but the explosion occurred before anything could be done.
FREIGHT CARS WERE BLOWN OFF TRACK.
The force of the concussion was so great that freight cars were blown off railway tracks at a distance of nearly two miles.
[illegible] asking for fire engines and fire fighting apparatus, doctors [illegible] hospital supplies, etc., were received by a number of localities in Nova Scotia from Halifax. Special trains were made up with everything needed that could be secured.
At Truro, Windsor, and here the City Councils met this morning and [illegible] to take immediate steps to render aid to the afflicted people of Halifax. It is understood that large quantities of food were destroyed, and that the citizens of Halifax may soon be in danger of starving.
It was decided that carloads of food must be despatched at once.
COMMUNICATION IS QUITE CUT OFF.
The damage done to the Western Union and Canadian Pacific Telegraph Co. and Nova Scotia Telephone Company is so complete that it will be days before wire communications with points outside Halifax can be restored.
The berth of the cruiser Niobe was near the area affected but no reports were reached here as to whether the ship or her crew were in [illegible]
HAVANA HEARS HUNDREDS KILLED.
Halifax, Dec. 6, via Havana - Hundreds of persons were killed and a thousand others injured, and half of the city of Halifax is in ruins as the result of the explosion on a munition ship in the harbor to-day. It is estimated that property loss will run into the millions. The north end of the city is in flames.
MONCTON REPORTS 400 DEAD.
Moncton, N.B., Dec. 6, 1 p.m. - Latest reports reaching here say the deaths from the terrific explosion at Halifax will probably reach more than four hundred at the least.
DYNAMOS IN MONTREAL WERE AFFECTED.
Montreal, Dec. 6 – Reports reaching telegraph companies here indicated that the explosion near Halifax had affected their dynamos.
HUNDREDS DIE IN THE RAILWAY STATION.
Truro, N.S., Dec. 6 - This afternoon word from Halifax gave the number of dead from the munition ship explosion at 300. Reports also said that it is feared several hundred people lost their lives when the railway station in Halifax collapsed. Twenty-five railway workers were killed on the track at Richmond.
RED CROSS LINER COLLIDED, TRURO HEARS.
Truro, N.S., Dec. 6 – The ship that collided with the munitions vessel was a Red Cross liner.
BUT RED CROSS OFFICIALS DENY.
New York, Dec.6, - The Red Cross Line officials here said to-day that none of the steamers were in Halifax at the time of the explosion, and that the report that one of them had been in collision with the ammunition ship is erroneous. The Red Cross liner Florizel, the officials said, was at Halifax earlier in the week but left on Tuesday, and her arrival at St. John’s, Nfld., was reported yesterday.
MONTREAL, HOWEVER, REPEATS STORY.
Montreal, Dec. 6 – It is possible that the ship which collided with the munition ship was a Red Cross or hospital ship several of which came into Halifax nightly.
CENSOR CONTROLS ALL THE WIRES.
St. John, NB. – It is announced here that the censor has taken control of all wires at Halifax in connection with the explosion there this morning.
DEEP WATER FREIGHT TERMINALS GONE.
Montreal, Dec. 6.– Among the buildings destroyed at Halifax are the new deep water freight terminals of the Canadian Government Railway at the north of the city it was learned at the offices of the railroad here this afternoon. No report had been received about the ocean terminals but it is [illegible] that they have not been affected. Sixty per cent of the city is gone according to railway reports.
Grand Trunk officials here this afternoon denied the Toronto report that 200 [illegible] had been located in the North Street Station, Halifax.
The above map shows the scene to-day of what may be the greatest tragedy in the history of any Canadian city. At one p.m. there was still no direct communication with the stricken city, but information received via Moncton and other cities, and even by way of Havana, indicated that the north half of the city was badly damaged.
The map indicates roughly the scene of the explosion as far as identified, though the spot may be a slight distance north-west of that indicated on the edge of the map, that is in the direction of Rickingham on the west shore of Halifax’s famous inland harbor indicated on a small map printed elsewhere. Dispatches say that the whole city north of the Queen’s Hotel is damaged. The Queen’s Hotel is close to the famous citadel. North Street Station, reported destroyed, is also shown. The street running between this station and the Queen’s Hotel is the city’s main business street, known as Barrington street, paralleling the shore line. The Intercolonial reports that its plant at Willow Park is wrecked. The inference from these isolated bits of information is that the part of the city shaded is in the wrecked area.
The main residential area is south and west, but the damaged portion included such well-known points as Wellington, Barracks, possibly the Parliament Buildings, which are only a short distance from the Queen’s Hotel, Customs House, and Post-Office nearby and important business houses.