The threat of disaster has long been a fact of life for Atlantic Canadians, especially the countless numbers who earn their livelihoods on the unpredictable seas or in the volatile mines. And even with continuing improvements in technology, disasters can still strike at any time, as 1992’s Westray mine explosion and 1998’s Swissair crash have shown.
A History of Disaster chronicles 43 of Atlantic Canada’s most deadly disasters, many well-remembered and none ever forgotten. Included are not only the region’s iconic disasters like the Halifax Explosion and the Springhill mine collapses, but also lesser-known events, such as the 1977 Saint John jail fire. Photos and illustrations of the aftermath, the rescue efforts, and in some cases, of the disaster itself, reveal the heartbreak and bravery that accompanied these life-altering catastrophes. Now in a new size.
Ken Smith is the author of Miramichi Facts and Folklore and two local histories of the Bathurst region, Homegrown Heroes: The Bathurst Sports Hall of Fame and Mainstreet Memories: Life in Bathurst in The Fifties. The father of two grown daughters, Ken lives in Bathurst with his wife, Verna.