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White Star Line SS Runic


White Star Line Runic (aground) 1889-1920

Built for White Star as a livestock carrier by Harland and Wolff Shipbuilders in Belfast, Runic served the Liverpool to New York route. She was the SS Cufic's sister ship. She was sold in 1895 to the West India & Pacific Steamship Co. and renamed Tampican. In 1899 she was transferred to the Leyland Line. In 1912, Tampican was sold to Moss & Co., and immediately sold again to the South Pacific Whaling Co, renamed Imo. It was then used as a whale oil tanker.




In 1917, the Imo (former SS Runic) collided with the French munitions ship Mont Blanc, in Halifax. 20 minutes later the Mont Blanc exploded and leveled the town of Richmond. It's been reported that 1,700 were killed and a further 8,000 were injured. The Mont Blanc was completely destroyed, but the Imo somehow survived with minimal damage. In 1918 the Imo was renamed Guvernoren. In 1920 she ran aground at the Falkland Islands in a heavy fog and was a complete loss.

Boston, MA, the first city to come to Halifax's aid after the explosion, receives a Nova Scotia Christmas tree each year to this day.








- Photos courtesy of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic -

- Photo Credit for Mont Blanc stern before explosion: Nova Scotia Musem

- Photo Credit for smoke cloud formed above the explosion of the SS Mont Blanc.- Nova Scotia Provincial Archives.

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