TITANIC: Fire or Ice?

It’s been 105 years since the devastating sinking of the RMS Titanic. For over a century, experts and historians have credited the disaster to iceberg infested waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but recent discoveries support that other factors might’ve been at play.

Historian Senan Molony has had 30 years plus experience on the subject of the RMS Titanic. Molony first began his venture for the truth about the Titanic when he discovered information on a list of Irish passengers aboard the doomed ship was wrong and thus worked to correct it. He’s also written several fictitious books on the subject, and been involved in many televised documentaries.

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Molony, who’s been involved in expeditions down to the wreckage and is currently an editor for the Irish Daily Mail, believes that while the infamous iceberg was ultimately the cause of the Titanic’s demise, the true culprit was a fire in Bunker #6. A spontaneous coal fire that engineers and coal workers couldn’t entirely control, many experts believe that the fire had started before the Titanic had left Belfast, Ireland, her finally port stop before traveling to New York.

Molony, however, is one of the few that believed the fire (which burned nonstop for three weeks at least a 1000 degrees) was responsible for weakening the metal around the hull, where Bunker #6 resided – the same area that the iceberg struck on the night of April 14th, 1912.

The investigator bases this speculation on what he believes to be a scorch mark he found in a picture taken of the Titanic while at port. It the 9-meter black mark can be seen on the hull.

A metallurgist – someone who studies the properties of metal, their production, and purification – cited by Molony, says that 1000 degree temperature the coal fire was believed to have been burning at for the Titanic’s three weeks could have weakened the steel around the hull by roughly 75%.

“The official Titanic inquiry branded it [the sinking] as an act of God. This isn’t a simple story of colliding with an iceberg and sinking. It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence,” Molony told the Times in preparation for the release of the Smithsonian Channel’s newest documentary Titanic: the New Evidence premiering January 21st at 8 pm.

However, a coal fire weakening the hull of the Titanic is not a new theory. Evidence points out that firemen where told to play the fire down over the course of the journey (as the Titanic’s maiden voyage was a highly publicized), and even suggests that passengers knew about the fire.

The largest ship of it’s time, the RMS Titanic perished in the Atlantic Ocean during the early hours of April 15th, 1912, taking at least 1,500 of her 2,224 passengers with it, making it one of the greatest peacetime tragedies in modern history.

– Chloe Cushing, senior

 

 


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