Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice, but when it comes to what sunk the Titanic, the answer has always appeared to be crystal clear. New evidence, though, might change those assumptions, The Independent reports — a researcher now believes an iceberg isn't to blame for the ocean liner's sinking, but actually a fire that had been raging in the hull of the ship for almost three weeks:
While experts have previously acknowledged the theory of a fire on board, new analysis of rarely seen photographs has prompted researchers to blame the fire as the primary cause of the ship’s demise.
Journalist Senan Molony, who has spent more than 30 years researching the sinking of the Titanic, studied photographs taken by the ship's chief electrical engineers before it left Belfast shipyard.
Mr. Maloney said he was able to identify 30-foot-long black marks along the front right-hand side of the hull, just behind where the ship's lining was pierced by the iceberg.
He said: “We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg stuck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place, before she even left Belfast." [The Independent]
The fire was too large and too hot to be put out, with 12 men reportedly failing to quench the 1800-degree flames. Officials on board the ship were allegedly instructed not to mention the fire to the Titanic's passengers, with the ship even reversing into its berth at Southampton to keep people from seeing where the fire had damaged the ship.
"Nobody has investigated these marks before," Molony said. "It totally changes the narrative. We have metallurgy experts telling us that when you get that level of temperature against steel it makes it brittle, and reduces its strength by up to 75 percent. The fire was known about, but it was played down. She should never have been put to sea."
Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage between Southampton and New York City in April 1912.