What Do These Three Places Have In Common?

Two were World Changing Catastrophic Events that have already happened and one is yet to be determined.

The recently seen documentary on the sunken SS Richard Montgomery cargo ship was an interesting story, to say the least. But somewhat disturbing at the same time!

1100 words 4.5 minutes read

This interesting story starts with a warship running aground with a cargo hold full of high explosives and ammunition for the war effort.

After the ship was stuck on the sand bank, there was a slow process of removing some of the explosives until it was abandoned and considered unsafe. The ship finally sunk in two pieces under the waves with only three masts sticking above the water, a reminder of its flammable cargo.  The mast is still visible for all to see as a WARNING.

This story of SS Richard Montgomery is deemed by authorities and historians an accident waiting to happen. That comment could be considered an understatement.

But although I’m disappointed in the producers of the documentary for not giving an example of what could happen in case of a miscalculation. The case of the Halifax Explosion killing 2000 people should have come to mind as a prime example.

Being I’m Canadian we’ve heard the Halifax story many times as Canada’s worst marine disaster.

But here is a comparison of the three events and then you could judge whether it’s fact or fiction.

SS Richard Montgomery

This Story started with SS Richard Montgomery, an American Liberty ship carrying a cargo of ammunition during the Second World War. It run aground and sank on the Nore sandbanks in the Thames Estuary, near Sheerness, UK. August 1944, some 80 years ago!

The sunken warship is in the River Thames still with an estimated 10,353 bombs on board with an abundant supply of explosives equaling an estimated 1400 tons of TNT.  And the ship and the unstable cargo are fast deteriorating from natural elements.  The wreck lies about two miles along Medway Approach Channel.

Today officials are keeping a watchful eye on the sunken vessel for any signs of movement or shifting of the dangerous cargo.

The other two catastrophic events have already happened but I am using them as a comparison. As mentioned in the title, they were classed as one of the world’s biggest non-nuclear explosions. This sunken Montgomery could very well follow suit with the other two.

Halifax Ammunition Explosion

#1 1917 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

A must-see Documentary. https://youtu.be/u5uTAt_A8BY

Two ships collided outside the channel going into busy Halifax Harbor. One called the Mont Blanc was inbound with a cargo of ammunitions for the war effort and on its deck were drums of (benzol) petro for automobiles. And the other ship was heading out to sea.

After a navigation miscalculation the two collided, sparks flew and drums of highly flammable material caught fire on the deck of the one. Eventually igniting the ammunition in its hold and the rest was history. Some estimate it created the world’s biggest non-nuclear explosions to date!

Killing an estimated 2000 people with 9000 injured, and sending a tidal wave 30 meters high rushing to land, washing fishing boats onto the shore. The devastation levelled all houses and buildings in a 1 square mile area.

Beirut Lebanon Explosion 2020

#2 Explosion in Lebanon in 2020

Another disastrous event happened in Lebanon in 2020 killing 217 people and injuring 7000, displacing 300,000 people. That blast levelled houses and buildings as far as you could see. And as of today they still have not recovered from their loss and are still pointing fingers at who was at blame.

#3 SS Richard Montgomery is yet to be determined.

The sunken world war two warship is in the River Thames and with still an estimated 10,353 bombs on board with an abundant supply of explosives equaling an estimate 1400 tones

So You’re Still Not Sure What The Similarities Are? Here Is A Little More Information.

These three sites have many things in common. One there on the waterfront, two in heavily populated areas and three, all this devastation has deadly flammable material as the main ingredient of the catastrophic event.

But through all intents and purposes, the fate of the SS Montgomery and the surrounding area hasn’t been determined yet. But more than likely it could have the same results as the other two explosions that devastated these exampled cities.

One More Article By Mick Hamer States; (Link)

Almost 80 years have passed since the SS Richard Montgomery, a US second world war-era ship that ran aground in August 1944 with a cargo of bombs. The half-submerged wreck, just 2 kilometres from land, still has 1400 tonnes of TNT in its holds.

Almost 20 years after I mounted an investigation for New Scientist into the dangers posed by this doomsday wreck, the UK government has now announced plans to cut back the thick steel masts this year to reduce their weight. This is to prevent them from collapsing into the holds, where they would fall onto the bombs and set off an explosion.

A blast on this scale would be one of the world’s biggest non-nuclear explosions, causing widespread destruction and death. The proximity of a giant liquefied natural gas terminal at the Isle of Grain is an additional worry. Supertankers on their way to the terminal pass as close as 200 metres to the wreck.

According To His Article

Our investigation revealed that the government’s Explosives Research and Development Establishment (ERDE) had calculated in 1972 that the blast from an explosion at the wreck would shatter virtually every window in Sheerness and send a 300-metre-wide column of mud, metal and munitions shooting up almost 3 kilometres into the air.

Comment — from a Canadian Reader

This tragedy in Halifax has reverberated throughout three generations of my family.  my great-grandfather was a dock worker who was killed in the explosion.  my great-grandmother was injured and had to give up my grandmother and great-uncle, who were raised in a series of orphanages.  the trauma of this caused my grandmother to grow up to be a very anxious, distant woman, which greatly impacted my father’s upbringing and paved the way for my own often strained relationship with him.  the aftershocks of the Halifax explosion are still being felt today.

Comment — Lebanon Fire Fighter  

Such a tragic loss for all the people that lost their lives, their homes and loved ones. This should never have happened and was 100% preventable, someone needs to be held accountable for this.

Comment from Youtube video  — SS Montgomery

What really pisses me off is that instead of dealing with this wreck at the very least moving public interests away from it. they want to build a F**king airport right next door to the wreck. sheer and utter madness.

Point Of Interest.

The blast in Halifax Nova Scotia resulted in a tsunami that sent a tidal wave 60 feet (18 metres) down the coast. Washing many fishing vessels onto the shore. It devastated everything in a square mile radius killing approximately 2000 people.

But comparing Montgomery to these two disasters that have already taken place and recorded, and I believe after all this research. “The officials are downplaying the severity of damage and destruction the USS Montgomery disaster will or could cause.”

Last comment.

We all get accustomed to our lifestyle and surroundings no matter what the dangers. But in the case of the SS Montgomery, it’s turned out to be a tourist attraction with people not heeding the dangers lurking beneath those waves.

The Halifax explosion was deemed an accident, Lebanon disaster negligent and  I’m sure history will show the  SS Montgomery will be deemed “Yet to be determined.”

Nobody really knows for sure and authorities are willing to wait.

Warning This Story Is Only My Opinion!

Here is a youtube link to Halifax Explosion

Here is a youtube link to Lebanon

Here is a youtube link to USS Mongomery

Youtube SS Mongomery

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#2 More stories from this author

This story can also be found on Medium and with the same author (LINK)

Thank you for reading my story, but if it was me, “I’d be moving.”