Did A Coal Fire Cause The Sinking Of The Titanic?

Did A Coal Fire Cause The Sinking Of The Titanic?

Illustration of the sinking of the Titanic

The most commonly accepted theory of the Titanic’s sinking is the iceberg collision theory. This theory states that the Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, causing severe damage to the ship’s hull, which led to its sinking.

Although the iceberg is a convenient reason for why the Titanic sank while other ships did not, it does not explain the story in full.

Some more evidence has recently come to light on how the Captain’s and his employer’s motives might have contributed to the tragedy.

Researchers who came across a trove of photos from the construction of the ship noticed an interesting large black mark stretching 30 feet along the hull; suspiciously close to the area where the iceberg pierced the ship. This area is where the coal for the ship’s engines was stored.

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

Snopes summarizes the theory as follows:

” 1) Prior to leaving the port where it was constructed, a spontaneous coal fire broke out in one of the Titanic’s coal bunkers that remained lit during much, if not all, of the ill-fated journey; 2) the crew attempted to extinguish the fire by burning coal at a faster speed; 3) the Titanic’s fast speed combined with structural damage caused by the fire made what would have been a survivable collision with an iceberg a catastrophic disaster.”

The coal fire theory states that the Titanic sunk due to a long-burning coal fire that weakened the ship’s hull, making it vulnerable to damage from the iceberg.

This theory suggests that the fire may have been burning for several weeks before the Titanic set sail.

Moreover, the crew members were aware of the fire but kept it a secret to avoid causing panic among passengers. Some experts believe that the fire was likely started by spontaneous combustion of coal in the ship’s bunker. And that the crew may have attempted to put out the fire by shoveling coal from the affected area.

The Titanic’s gymnasium on the Boat Deck. Equipped with the latest exercise machines.

While the coal fire theory has not become officially confirmed, there is some evidence to support it.

For example, the discovery of charred coal in the Titanic’s remains. As well as reports of smoke becoming seen coming from the ship before it sank. As a result, suggesting that a fire may have been burning onboard.

In conclusion, it is important to note that the coal fire theory is not the only explanation for the sinking. Other theories include design flaws in the ship, navigational errors by the crew, and inadequate safety measures, among others. Ultimately, the exact cause of the Titanic’s sinking remains a subject of debate and speculation. And lastly, more research becomes needed to determine the full truth behind this tragic event!

For further reading on Titanic conspiracy theories, see our piece:

Titanic’s Sinking : Dispelling Common Myths & Theories

Launch, 1911 (unfinished superstructure)
Did A Coal Fire Cause The Sinking Of The Titanic?