Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 15, 2012

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"Untergang der Titanic" by Willy Stöwer (1912), depicting the Titanic sinking

The sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912, with the loss of over 1,500 lives, was one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. Four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, Titanic – at the time the world's largest ship – struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland. Five of her watertight compartments were holed, causing the ship to flood deck by deck. She carried too few lifeboats for her 2,223 passengers and crew, and many seats were left empty due to a poorly managed evacuation. Titanic's officers loaded the lifeboats "women and children first", leaving most of the men aboard the ship. Two hours and forty minutes after the collision, Titanic sank with over a thousand people still aboard. Almost all those who jumped or fell into the freezing water soon died of hypothermia or drowned. The RMS Carpathia rescued the survivors from the lifeboats a few hours later. Public outrage at the loss of life led to tougher maritime safety regulations. Titanic's wreck was not found until 1985. The disaster has inspired a wealth of popular culture including many films, most notably James Cameron's Titanic in 1997. (more...)

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