- Live Breaking news on the disappearance of the Titan
- Tragedy The company that operated the missing submarine Titan gives for dead the five passengers
Titanic director James Cameron said the Titan submersible tragedy had disturbing parallels with the liner disaster more than a century ago. Debris from the catastrophic implosion of the submersible, which killed all five on board, was discovered near the wreck.
In an interview with ABC, Cameron said: "I've been there many times... I know the crash site very well... I understand the engineering issues associated with building these types of vehicles and all the safety protocols... This is a mature art and many people in the community were concerned about waterboarding... I am struck by the similarity to the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about the ice in front of his ship and yet sailed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night and many people died as a result."
The enduring charm of the Titanic
Since sinking on its maiden voyage more than a century ago, the Titanic and its history have generated great fascination.
At the time, the ship was a monument to technological advances and the arrogance of the human being who believed they had built a ship impossible to sink.
In the decades that followed, its shipwreck, one of the worst maritime accidents in history, inspired books, movies and seduced countless adventurers eager to see what happened when the luxury ship hit an iceberg.
Among them, the wealthy passengers and crew of the submersible that disappeared in the North Atlantic on Sunday on its way to visit the remains of the mythical ship, at a cost of $ 250,000 each passenger.
The RMS Titanic was carrying more than 2,000 passengers and crew when it departed from the English city of Southampton for New York in April 1912.
At the time, it was the largest ship in the world, a floating luxury palace, where first-class passengers had at their disposal a gym, squash court, a swimming pool and several restaurants. They could also rest in their sumptuous rooms with hundreds of people available to cater to their every whim. Meanwhile, below deck, hundreds of poor immigrants were crammed into austere cabins, desperate for the promise of the New World.
But on April 14, the Titanic hit an iceberg that dented and bent the hull, allowing water to enter. As the compartments flooded, the 269-meter-long ship began to sink. There were not enough life preservers for the number of passengers, and the crew did not know how to use them. Mostly, women and children filled the lifeboats, under the instruction that the men should wait. Some departed at half capacity.
Hours after starting to tilt as the bow sank, the massive ship split in two and plunged into the depths. People who failed to get into the few lifeboats died within minutes in the icy sea. Some 1,500 people died in the tragedy. Only 700 were rescued by the RMS Carpathia, a steam-powered ocean liner that responded to Titanic's emergency calls.
The exact location of the wreck was a mystery for 70 years, until a French-American expedition discovered it at about 3,700 meters deep. Images from the seabed show the two halves of the ship surrounded by debris: furniture, shoes, dishes and other objects that fell from the ship as it sank.
Since it was discovered in 1985, the wreck has been visited by researchers, explorers, tourists and filmmakers. One of its most famous visitors was director James Cameron, in charge of the blockbuster "Titanic", starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, who played two passengers from different social classes who live an intense love story on board.
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