LONDON — An enormous and uncontrollable fire could be the main reason the Titanic sank on on its disastrous maiden voyage more than a century ago.
According to Irish journalist Senan Molony, 30-foot-long black marks seen on the hull of the Titanic before it left Belfast shipyard in 1912 are proof that a huge fire sunk the ship, the Independent reported.
The marks can be seen in old photos discovered by Molony, and point to a blaze in a coal room that would have reached temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius and warped the ship’s steel bulkhead.
Molony says the marks appear on the exact area where the Titanic hit an iceberg on its way from Britain to New York, before sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some 1,500 people died, making the sinking of the Titanic one of the worst disasters in maritime history.
Molony’s theory was presented in a TV documentary shown in the UK earlier this week titled “Titanic: The New Evidence.”
He said the ship’s owners were aware of the fire and even took the unusual step of reversing into the dock to hide the damage from passengers.
Molony said even though the fire was known, the significance was downplayed and the Titanic “should never have been put to sea.”