It has been a century since the Titanic ship accident but the reason behind the legendary ship’s demise continues to be investigated. In the latest discoveries of the Titanic fire theory, it appears the “unsinkable” British passenger liner already faced a serious damage even before it hit the iceberg.
Moreover, the theory, which involves fire, may be the major culprit of the events that spiraled down for RMS Titanic to go under the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Fire Weakened Titanic’s Steel Hull
The Titanic fire theory suggests that despite giving the fatal blow to the liner, the iceberg is not the only one to blame for Titanic’s downfall; and certainly not Jack and Rose.
With the sinking branded as “an act of God,” it actually is a combination of “fire, ice, and criminal negligence,” says Senan Molony, an Irish author, and journalist who have been studying the disaster for over 30 years.
It is worth noting that the ship’s officials are aware of the fire in question which is blazing on coal bunker number 6 after leaving Northern Ireland’s Belfast and bound to Southampton. The fire is also publicly known since the 1912 inquiry of the disaster.
However, this information was drastically downplayed according to Molony.
In the recent documentary Titanic: The New Evidence which aired in UK’s Channel 4, Molony pointed out the photographic evidence of the extent of the fire taken by a chief electrical engineer of the ocean liner while they were docked in Belfast.
The photos showed 30-feet long dark marks on the ship’s right side, while Molony noted that this side was faced intentionally away from the dock to hide it from the passengers’ view.
Metallurgy experts said that when steel reaches that level of temperature which is 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit), it becomes “brittle” according to Molony, with its strength reduced up to 75 percent.
And notably, this area of the ship will suffer the worst blow from hitting the iceberg.
Not Entirely New, But More Light is Shed
The theory of the fire being a catalyst for Titanic’s demise is not brand new. In fact, it had been tackled already for over a decade.
In 2004, mechanical engineer Robert Essenhigh of Ohio State University introduced his speculations on why the British passenger liner is traveling at high speed, one of Titanic’s mysteries, during the Geological Society of America meeting.
According to Essenhigh, it is most likely that the sailors were trying to put down the source of the fire by increasing the rate of the coal shoveled from the bunker to the steam engine boiler. This, of course, resulted in the ship traveling at top speed across the icy waters.
Moreover, Titanic researcher Ray Boston also suggested that the fire was to blame. As the fire allegedly started during speed trials even before leaving Southampton and was not put out before her maiden voyage.
The “excessive” speed, says Boston, was also due to the orders of the ship’s owner John Piermont Morgan to go to New York as fast as they can before they will face some “serious explosions.”
The speed of 22 knots, as we all know, made it impossible for the crew to alter the ship’s course to avoid hitting the iceberg.
Over 100 years have passed since the ship sunk in the deepest part of the seas yet, fascinatingly, there continues to be more discoveries and hypotheses, like the Titanic fire theory, trying to understand what led to the grim fate of one of the deadliest maritime tragedy in history.
Photo source: Wikimedia