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5 April 2017, 12:12
A programme that aired last weekend explored a new theory about why the unsinkable Titanic sunk on it's maiden voyage.
Since Titanic sunk on her maiden voyage in 1912 we have all believed one thing to be the cause of her sinking - an iceberg.
We've all seen the film and all know the sad story of Titanic striking an iceberg in the frozen North Atlantic Ocean before sinking and causing the loss of 1,500 lives.
But a new theory that has been unveiled this year suggests that the iceberg wasn't the only thing to blame.
In a programme which aired most recently on Channel 4 last Sunday called Titanic: The New Evidence, the pieces of the puzzle were drawn together with insights from experts to paint a picture of what REALLY happened in the early hours of 15th April 1912.
The programme establishes that a fire in the ships hull before Titanic had even set sail from Belfast was ultimately the cause of its problems.
Journalist Senan Molony has been researching Titanic for 30 years and while rummaging through previously unseen photos found one image that included a nine metre long black mark on Titanic's hull.
This, combined with witness statement's from one of the ship's firefighters about a fire taking place a coal pits aboard, lead him to believe that the Titanic was virtually on fire before it even left Belfast.
Sean said during the programme: “We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg struck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place, before she even left Belfast.
“The official Titanic inquiry branded [the sinking] as an act of God. This isn’t a simple story of colliding with an iceberg and sinking."
From Belfast, the ship sailed to Southampton where 2,224 passengers boarded and its maiden voyage to New York began.
The fire continued to burn in one of the coal pits in the ship's hull weakening the metal in one of Titanic's 'water tight' ballast tanks meaning when the ship did strike the iceberg, its structure down below was already compromised.
Sean continued “Nobody has investigated these marks before. 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 per cent."
Had the metal in these below water level compartments not been weakened, the iceberg wouldn't have ripped through the ship so viciously.
And even if it had, the ship might have been able to remain above water long enough for its passengers to be rescued by help vessels.
It's a complete revelation and saddening to think that the loss of life could have been prevented that day.