June, 1932

This is a repeating event

193217JunAll DayCYMBELINE EXPLOSION 1932SS Cymbeline Montreal (CA-QC)Lessons:Control of Work,Emergency PreparednessIndustry:ShippingCountry:CanadaLanguage:ENLoC:ImpactIncident:VCEHazards:FlammableContributory Factors:Object impactImpact:HUMAN (Offsite Fatalities)Effects:11 – 100 FatalitiesMaterial:Crude Oil


One of the worst workplace tragedies in Montreal history, the explosion of the tanker Cymbeline while it was being repaired at the Canadian Vickers Co. dry dock in the east end.

The initial blast at 4:20 a.m., thought to have been sparked by a rivet puncturing an oil tank, was followed by another an hour later, propelling bodies into the St. Lawrence and showering burning oil on anyone and anything in proximity. More than 30 men perished, among them Montreal fire chief Raoul Gauthier and three other firefighters. Dozens more suffered burns and other injuries.

• Tanks should be free of flammable vapour before any hot work is performed
• Care must be taken when responding to an incident to ensure you are not in harms way

Image Credit: Montreal Gazette