Mackey and the Mont-Blanc crew quickly abandoned the ship on lifeboats. As they rowed toward shore, Mackey waved and shouted at other ships to warn them of the danger. But no one seemed to notice.
From his home, Noble observed flames from the Mont-Blanc flicking toward the sky. He walked toward the harbor for a better view. The Mont-Blanc was now floating toward Noble’s neighborhood. And at about 9 a.m. . . .
BOOM! A powerful explosion rocked the harbor.
In a fraction of a second, the Mont-Blanc was ripped to pieces. The temperature of the explosion likely reached 9,000 degrees. People could feel the ground shake 250 miles away.
In Dartmouth and Halifax, ships flipped over, trains flew off rails, and factories fell down. In neighborhoods, doors were ripped from houses, trees snapped in two, and windows shattered.
The force of the explosion propelled Noble through the air. He landed near his school, unconscious. For about 10 minutes, black rain fell—a mix of burned benzol, melted metal, and other debris.