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泰坦尼克号出航前已难逃沉没命运?

更新时间:2017-1-4 19:39:57 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Coal Fire, Not Just Iceberg, Doomed the Titanic, a Journalist Claims
泰坦尼克号出航前已难逃沉没命运?

LONDON — Maybe it wasn’t just the iceberg.

伦敦――也许不只是冰山。

Ever since the Titanic sank more than 104 years ago, killing more than 1,500 men, women and children, mystery has swirled around the tragedy. No one doubts that the ship collided at high speed with an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland.

在104年前,泰坦尼克号(Titanic)的沉没造成1500多名男人、女人和儿童丧生,从那以后,神秘气氛就一直笼罩在这桩悲剧之上。没有人怀疑这艘船曾高速撞上纽芬兰附近海域的冰山。

But a new documentary posits that the sinking of the ship — hailed at the time as the largest ever built, and praised for its professed unsinkability — may have been accelerated by a giant coal fire in its hull that appeared to have started as long as three weeks before it set off on its fateful journey to New York from Southampton, England.

但是一部新的纪录片提出一个假设,称这艘当时世界上最大,并因声称永不沉没而备受赞誉的船,可能是受到船体中的一场燃煤大火的影响而加快了下沉速度,而火灾可能在该船从英国南安普敦启航驶向纽约,进行这场灾难性旅程的三周前就发生了。

In the documentary, which was broadcast on Channel 4 in Britain on New Year’s Day, Senan Molony, an Irish journalist who has spent more than 30 years researching the Titanic, contends that the fire, in a three-story-high bunker next to one of the ship’s boiler rooms, damaged its hull, helping to seal its fate long before it slammed into the iceberg.

这部纪录片于新年在英国的第4频道(Channel 4)播放,花了30多年时间研究泰坦尼克号的爱尔兰记者塞南·莫洛尼(Senan Molony)在片中提出,船只某个锅炉舱旁边一个三层楼高的煤舱曾经起火,损坏了船体,早在泰坦尼克号撞上冰山之前就决定了它的命运。

“It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence,” he argues in the documentary, “Titanic: The New Evidence.” “The fire was known about, but it was played down. She should never have been put to sea.”

“火、冰,以及可耻的疏忽,种种异常因素聚集在一起,形成一场完美风暴,”他在这部纪录片《泰坦尼克号:新的证据》(Titanic: The New Evidence)中说。“人们知道有这场火灾,但是被淡化了。这艘船根本就不应该出海。”

Molony’s potential breakthrough can be traced to an attic in Wiltshire, in southwest England, where a previously unpublished album of photographs chronicling the ship’s construction and the preparations for its maiden voyage had been gathering dust for more than a century.

莫洛尼的潜在突破性发现可以追溯到英格兰西南部威尔特郡的一处阁楼,在那里有一本从未发表的相簿,已经被尘封了一个多世纪,里面收集着记录这艘船的建造和第一次航行筹备期间的照片。

The photographs were discovered by a descendant of a director of the Belfast-based company, Harland and Wolff, that built the Titanic. About four years ago, a collaborator of Molony’s acquired the rare photographs of the ship, meticulously taken by Harland and Wolff’s engineering chief before it left a Belfast shipyard.

这些照片是由位于贝尔法斯特的哈兰德与沃尔夫(Harlan and Wolff)公司一位董事的后代发现的,制造泰坦尼克号的正是这家公司。大约四年前,莫洛尼的一个合作者收购了这些珍贵照片。它们由哈兰德与沃尔夫的工程主任精心拍摄,之后泰坦尼克号便离开了贝尔法斯特造船厂。

When the two men looked closely at the images, Molony said, they were shocked to discover a 30-foot-long diagonal black mark on the hull’s front starboard side, close to where the ship was pierced by the iceberg. An analysis by engineers at Imperial College London subsequently revealed that the mark was most likely caused by a fire in a coal bunker of the ship.

莫洛尼说,他们两人仔细观察了图片,震惊地发现船体前右舷有一个30英尺长的斜线黑色标记,距离船被冰山穿透的地方很近。伦敦帝国理工学院的工程师随后进行的分析显示,该标记最有可能是由于煤舱中的火灾造成的。

Molony called the photographs “the Titanic equivalent of Tutankhamen’s tomb,” because of the richness of historical detail they conveyed, including the mark highlighting the extent of the damage.

莫洛尼称这些照片是“泰坦尼克号的图坦卡蒙之墓”,因为它们传达出丰富的历史细节,包括这个显示损伤程度的痕迹。

Experts said the theory was compelling but were divided over how important a role the fire may have played.

专家说这是个有说服力的假设,但对于火灾在沉船事件中可能发挥的作用有多重要,他们有不同意见。

In an interview, Richard de Kerbrech, a marine engineer based on the Isle of Wight who has written two books on the Titanic disaster, said that the fire would have damaged the ship’s bulkhead, a wall of steel within the ship’s hull, and made it more vulnerable after it was pierced by an iceberg. An official British inquiry, in 1912, mentioned the fire, but the judge who presided over it, whom critics saw as sympathetic to shipping interests, played it down.

理查德·德·科布莱奇(Richard de Kerbrech)是怀特岛的一位船舶工程师,他撰写过两本关于泰坦尼克号灾难的书,在接受采访时,他说这场火灾可能会损坏船的舱壁,也就是船体内的一道钢墙,使船体更容易被冰山刺穿。 1912年,英国的官方调查提到了这场火灾,但是批评者认为,主持这项调查的法官出于对船运业的同情淡化了这一点。

“This discovery is a revelation and could change our knowledge of the history of what happened,” de Kerbrech said.

“这个发现是一种启示,并可能改变我们对历史的认知,”德·科布莱奇说。

Molony contends that the ship’s owners knew about the fire but chose to let it go, since delaying the ship’s journey would have been financially ruinous. At the time of departure, the ship was berthed so that the marks caused by the fire were facing the sea, away from the dock, and therefore concealed from passengers.

莫洛尼认为,船主们知道这场火灾,但选择不去理会,因为延迟泰坦尼克的旅程对公司财政来说是毁灭性的,泰坦尼克启程时,船只的停泊刻意让火灾造成痕迹的一面朝向大海,瞒过了乘客。

Molony said he believed the fire had been played down, in part because death by iceberg was a more dramatic explanation.

莫洛尼说,他相信火灾事故被淡化了,部分原因是冰山导致沉船是一个更加戏剧性的解释。

“The ship was seen as a heroic unsinkable ship and, as a result, people focused on explanations that fed that narrative,” he said.

“这艘船被视为一艘宏伟的、不沉没的船,因此,人们更关注那些可以满足这种说法的解释,”他说。

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