Nova Scotia commemorates Halifax Explosion 100 years ago

A sailor rings the bell from HMS Niobe at a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion at Fort Needham Memorial Park in Halifax,

Residents and visitors brave the elements at a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion at Fort Needham Memorial Park in Halifa

Nova Scotia Lt. Gov. Arthur Leblanc, right, and his wife Rosemarie Patricia LeBlanc brave the elements at a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Somber ceremonies are taking place in Halifax to mark 100 years since the Canadian port city on the Atlantic coast was devastated by a wartime blast that killed approximately 2,000 people and injured an estimated 9,000 others.

The catastrophe, known as the Halifax Explosion, remains the worst human-made disaster in Canadian history and was the world's largest human-made blast until the detonation of an atomic bomb in 1945.

The explosion on Dec. 6, 1917, was ignited by a collision between the French ship SS Mont-Blanc, which was laden with explosives, and the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the strait connecting Halifax Harbour with Bedford Basin.

A large crowd turned out Wednesday at the Fort Needham memorial site, not far from where the explosion wiped out the city's north end.