On This Day: Viking Explosion March 15th, 1931

The Viking Explosion - 86 years ago

In the spring of 1931, famed film director Varrick Frissel commissioned the sealing ship The Viking to shoot action sequences for his new film. Along with his crew and equipment, Frissel had brought barrels of gunpowder aboard. The extra gunpowder was poorly stored and left in contact with sources of flame. In the evening of March 15th, as the ship’s crew prepared for bed, the gunpowder ignited. Survivors abandoned ship for the ice pans and trudged over 20 kilometers of ice and water to the remote Horse Islands, where local residents took them in. 65 people, including Varrick Frissel, died in the disaster.

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