Compressed Air Blowing Up Her Decks



Do you believe the weight of the ship pulled herself down before the air inside could escape, and this caused the air between her decks to compress and blow out her decks? In 1907 the SS Columbia went down. Here is a survivor account. He believed the air inside blew open her hull.



Titanic survivor Mr. Barkworth swam away from the ship and he saw her decks burst open. He said: "I saw the vessel was sinking, and she went down with a volley of loud explosions caused, in my opinion by the air breaking up the decks".

Major Peuchen heard the explosions and he believed the air inside had burst out. He said - "I imagined that the decks had blown up with the pressure, pulling the boat down, bow on. This heavyweight and the air between the decks. That is my theory of the explosion.....I think it was the pressure. That heavy weight shoving that down, the water rushing up, and the air coming between the decks. Something had to go."

In the days that followed the disaster there were reports that compressed air should be used to keep damaged ships afloat, but also noted the perils of using this technique because it can also lead to decks being blown up by the pressure building underneath. e.g.




With the ship settling very low in the water and the pressures underneath and around her hull building up with each foot that she dropped, the air inside was bound to compress, and with her decks flooding rapidly from above she would develop air pockets below as the air inside some areas could not escape owing to the volume of water rushing into the exit points above. Not sure how deep the hull was able to go before the pressures became too much and she blew herself open. When she broke apart survivors witnessed a dark cloud of smoke rise up with sparks and coal shooting out. People on the deck were blown off and survivors like Mr. Weikman believed the explosive force had killed a number of people as they were blown off the deck. Mr. Hyman said - "There came a terrible explosion, and I could see men, women and pieces of the ship blown into the air from the after-deck. Later I saw bodies partly blown to pieces floating around, and I am sure more than a hundred persons were blown into the sea by that explosion."

Do you believe a terrific blast of compressed air had blew her decks open, sent smoke and coal shooting out of her funnels, and tore the ship apart like the SS Columbia five years earlier?

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Kyle Naber

Oct 5, 2016
The stern definitely would have destroyed itself even still on the surface. As the water came in faster than the air could escape, windows and decks would have blasted from the ship during the final plunge.
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Oct 3, 2017
The rapid rate of flooding in the final plunge would have pushed lots of air out through all available spaces and quickly destroyed the stern

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