100 years after Titanic disaster

Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:28am EDT
 
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March 22 (Reuters) - As the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic nears next month the public's interest in the tragedy has not diminished.

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage, traveling from Southampton, England, to New York. It was nicknamed the "Millionaire's Special".

The ship was fittingly captained by Edward J. Smith, who was known as the "Millionaire's Captain" because of his popularity with wealthy passengers. Onboard were a number of prominent people, including American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim, British journalist William Thomas Stead, and Macy's department store co-owner Isidor Straus and his wife, Ida.

Here is a look at the disaster and its aftermath:

THE DISASTER:

-- The liner struck an iceberg late on April 14 and sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912. The ship's starboard side scraped along the iceberg. At least five of its supposedly watertight compartments toward the bow were ruptured.

-- After assessing the damage, as the ship's forward compartments filled with water, its bow would drop deeper into the ocean, causing water from the ruptured compartments to spill over into each succeeding compartment, thereby sealing the ship's fate.

-- Of the 2,223 passengers and crew aboard the ship, dubbed "unsinkable" before departure, 1,517 died. Third class suffered the greatest loss - of approximately 710 on board, only some 174 survived. Seventy-six percent of the crew died.

100 YEARS ON:   Continued...

 
A pocket watch recovered from the RMS Titanic is on display during the Titanic Auction preview by Guernsey's Auction House in New York January 5, 2012. The biggest collection of Titanic artifacts is to be sold off as a single lot in an auction timed for the 100th anniversary in April of the sinking of the famed ocean liner. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid