This day in Vancouver: Greenhill Park explosion

Thanks to The Dependent Magazine for the reminder that yesterday was the anniversary of the Greenhill Park explosion in Vancouver Harbour on March 6, 1945.  The S.S. Greenhill Park was a freighter and the explosion, initially blamed on improper storage of combustible materials, killed 8 longshoremen and injured 19 other workers.

Sources much later told late-Vancouver historian Chuck Davis, the explosion was to be blamed on a deadly combination of sodium chlorate, stowed whiskey, and a match struck beneath the deck. You can read about this story on the History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

In the Chung Collection, we have archival material which originated with Hugh Robinson, who was on the board of inquiry for the explosion. The material includes inquiry proceedings, correspondence, notes, clippings, and mechanical drawings of the ship. They can be found in the database by searching for “Green Hill Park” or for “Robinson, Hugh.”