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This day that year: 'Unsinkable' Titanic crashes into iceberg and sinks to depths of Atlantic


New Delhi, Apr 15: RMS Titanic, the largest ship of its time and thought to be unsinkable, hit a massive iceberg on April 15, 1912, in North Atlantic and in approximately two hours and 40 minutes of the catastrophic collision the ship sank.

Distress signals were sent by wireless, rockets, and lamp, but none of the ships that responded was near enough to reach Titanic before she sank. Titanic was ill-prepared for such an emergency. Titanic only had enough lifeboats to carry about half of those on board.

A file photo

The luxury steamship RMS Titanic, which created quite a stir when it departed for its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 lost their lives in the disaster.

[The Iceberg Titanic was lost to was 100,000 years old]

Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m) long with a maximum breadth of 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 m). Her total height, measured from the base of the keel to the top of the bridge, was 104 feet (32 m). She measured 46,328 gross register tons and with a draught of 34 feet 7 inches (10.54 m), she displaced 52,310 tons.

The disaster was met with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that led to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major improvements in maritime safety.

The cause of sinking:

On 14 April, 1912, four days into the crossing and about 600 km south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship's time. The collision caused the hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard (right) side and opened five of her 16 watertight compartments to the sea; she could only survive four flooding.

['Titanic iceberg' photo may fetch 15k pounds at auction]

The crew had not been trained adequately in carrying out an evacuation. The officers did not know how many they could safely put aboard the lifeboats and launched many of them barely half-full. Third-class passengers were largely left to fend for themselves, causing many of them to become trapped below decks as the ship filled with water. (Source - Wikipedia/www.history.com)

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