Published on January 4th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
A Titanic Twist
New evidence has come to light on the sinking of the Titanic. A boiler room fire rather than hitting an iceberg could be the reason behind this great tragedy.
On 10 April 1912 the new White Star Line liner, the R.M.S. Titanic, set sail from Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York. Five days later, on 15th April, the ship sank with the loss of over 1,500 lives.
For over 100 years it has been believed that it sank after hitting a gigantic iceberg. Now, new evidence states that a fire in the ship’s hull could have caused the disaster.
This new evidence adds to the ongoing fascination we have with the Titanic even to this day. From the success of James Cameron’s 1997 Oscar winning film, Titanic, to the filming of underwater footage of the wreck and its interior in recent years, we are constantly learning something new about this ship and the reasons behind its dreadful demise.
New Photographic Evidence Revealed
In a documentary screened on Channel 4 on New Year’s Day, Titanic: The New Evidence, recently uncovered photographs reveal 30-foot-long black marks on the front right-hand side of the hull. The location of these marks is just behind where the ship’s lining was subsequently pierced by the iceberg.
Senan Molony has been investigating the sinking of the Titanic for 30 years. In the documentary, he reveals how the fire may have burned unnoticed for nearly three weeks.
Situated in a three storey high fuel store behind one of the boiler rooms the fire reached temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. A team of 12 men struggled to tackle a blaze of this ferocity. Therefore, it appears this fire may have caused a weakness in the hull before the ship even left the Belfast shipyard.
J Bruce Ismay, the infamous president of the White Star Line apparently gave the ship’s officers strict instructions not to mention the fire to any of the Titanic’s 2,500 passengers. The documentary also states that the ship was reversed into its berth at Southampton. This was to ensure that the passengers would not see the fire marks when they embarked onto the ship.
In addition, it is suggested that despite being warned about icebergs, the ship was travelling too fast. This is rumoured to be because the stokers and firemen disposed of burning coal by putting it into the furnaces driving the ship’s engines.
Did You Know?
The Belfast shipyard where the Titanic was built is now home to The Paint Hall (Titanic Studios). It has been the location for the filming of many films and TV shows, including Game of Thrones?