Fourth Funnel Collapse


Kyle Naber

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Every single one of Titanic's funnels fell for different reasons. The first one because of the pressure difference between the funnel base and the water which crushed it. The second funnel was thrown off of its foundations due to an explosion from ignited coal dust from down below. The third funnel's base was shredded apart because of the breakup, sending it down.

But what about the fourth funnel? Inertia? If so, would that mean that the funnels were weak in a sense if they would founder in rough sea conditions?
 
Dec 13, 2016
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Actually, I'm curious, how do we know the fourth funnel did in fact collapse? Obviously at some point it fell off, but I can't recall any specific testimony stating that it did in fact fall. All I recall is, I believe Chief Baker mentioned it canting up and slightly falling aft, but did it in fact completely fall?
 

Kyle Naber

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That's exactly the testimony I was looking for! Even though they both still have some inaccuracies, James Cameron's 2012 theory and History Chanel's 2013 theory both show the fourth funnel intact after the break:

(At 1:14)

(At 0:45)

Because of the damage to the stern during the descent, I don't think there's any forensic evidence to back up the story of the fourth funnel. We only have testimony and educated guessing.

One of the main witness for the first funnel is Charles Lightoller. The witness for the second funnel collapse is Jack Thayer, and we can predict that the third funnel fell during the breakup.

Charles Joughin said that the funnel seemed to cant up towards him. I'm not sure if he meant that it fell aft, or if it just settled with the rest of the ship. If its the latter, then it might make sense considering the fact that the funnels were mounted 10 degrees back.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Testimony of Trimmer Dillon:

3861. Did you afterwards notice something about the funnel? - Yes.
3862. What? - When she went down.
3863. Was that after you had left the ship? - Before I left the ship.
3864. What did you notice? - Well, the funnel seemed to cant up towards me.
3865. It seemed to fall aft? - Yes; it seemed to fall up this way.
3866. Was that the aftermost funnel? - Yes.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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The witness for the second funnel collapse is Jack Thayer, and we can predict that the third funnel fell during the breakup.
Thayer did not mentioned which funnel it was in 1912 (as it was before the break up and in a newspaper Gracie stated that Thayer and Lightoller told him that his head came up when the funnel fall, missing him by a few feet, it might have been the first funnel). In his later version (1940) it became the 2nd funnel.


Charles Joughin said that the funnel seemed to cant up towards him. I'm not sure if he meant that it fell aft, or if it just settled with the rest of the ship. If its the latter, then it might make sense considering the fact that the funnels were mounted 10 degrees back.
Jouhgin did not say anything about the funnel, as I have shown above it was Dillon.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Jack Thayer said - "One of the funnels seemed to be lifted off and fell towards me about 15 yards away, with a mass of sparks and steam coming out of it." He later said, "The second funnel, seemed to be lifted off, emitting a cloud of sparks."

Harold Bride said - "I felt I simply had to get away from the ship. She was a beautiful sight then. Smoke and sparks were rushing out of her funnel. There must have been an explosion, but we heard none. We only saw the big stream of sparks"

Was he referring to the second funnel? He said she was a beautiful sight. This implies the deck lights were still on when the sparks were emitting from the funnel. He saw smoke as well as sparks. Mr. Osman said - "After she got to a certain angle she exploded, broke in halves........you could see the explosions by the smoke coming right up the funnels." Does this mean Bride and Thayer were witnessing the moment she exploded and broke in two? Yet Bride did not hear any explosion. People who have been in the immediate area of bomb blasts say they never heard the explosion while others further away heard it. Perhaps Bride was too close to the ship and was absorbed by the explosion which according to August Weikman was so strong it killed a number of people and blew him some distance away by the force of the explosion. Perhaps this was the result of several funnels falling simultaneously into the water?


The perspective of each account is also a key issue. If the majority of witnesses were in lifeboats that were rowing towards the other ship off the port bow then their perspective of the funnels would certainly be very limited e.g.



list01.PNG


list02.PNG



I think this may have caused some confusion at the Inquiry. e.g.

Mr. Poingdestre - "The ship broke at the foremost funnel."
Mr. Ranger - Q - Can you say in relation to the fore funnel at what point the ship broke off? A - "About the second funnel from forward."


When the ship broke the stern keeled violently over to port.

Emily Ryerson said - "The two forward funnels seemed to lean and then she seemed to break in half as if cut with a knife." Ruth Becker also showed the two forward funnels tilting forward as she broke in two. Perhaps the break up was so destructive that it caused most of the funnels to fall almost simultaneously.

According the newspapers the following happened - 'Hugh Woolner says there were two explosions before the Titanic sank. To a friend he said. It was this second explosion that did the most damage. It blew away the funnels and tore a big hole in the steamer's side and caused the ship to rock as if she were an eggshell. The Titanic careened to one side and passengers making for the boats were spilled into the water.'

Sounds remarkably similar to Charles Joughin's account who said the passengers were thrown over the port side as the stern broke and keeled onto her port side. I guess it entirely depends on where each witness was and what their unique perspectives were and also what their state of mind was when they witnessed each event occur on the ship. e.g.

Mr. Pearcey was asked to describe how the ship sank. He said - "It upset me, and I could not exactly say." Sometimes graphic events are so terrible that the brain just blocks them out. Edith Russell was in a car crash before the Titanic sank, and she said the events of the car crash came flashing back with horrible clarity as she witnessed the Titanic sink. I understand veterans who saw tragic events during the wars will often refuse to discuss what happened. Not because they won't, but because they can't. Perhaps the final moments of the Titanic were so awful that survivors tried to block it out of their memory. I understand some of them never went to sea again, and others had their hair turn white owing to the shock of the event they had just witnessed.

Mr. Ismay was wise not to witness her go down.

"I did not wish to see her go down."
Q - You did not care to see her go down?
A - No. I am glad I did not.


.
 
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Kyle Naber

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Never heard of it before. What is the source for that explosion?
It is a newer theory produced to help explain the mass of sparks and cloud of smoke emitted when the second funnel collapsed.

This is what a coal dust explosion looks and sounds like:


Now add LOTS of coal down inside of a sinking ship with much added pressure and send it through a funnel:

(At 0:42)

But again, it's just a theory, but I think it holds some ground.
 

Jim Currie

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When the forepart sank, the down-flooding would cause air to be expelled up ward. Have a Look at the profile plan of No.5 boiler room directly under Funnel 2. (It can be found in the opening page of this sight.. Deckplans...profile.) This would cause bits and pieces to be blown upward, much like an explosion but the evidence of Jack Thayer and a coal dust explosion is highly imaginative but hardly possible.

There was no direct path for coal or coal dust from the bunkers up through the funnels. Additionally, long before the ship sank, the fires in boiler rooms 5 and 6 had been raked out and extinguished. BR5 was full of steam vapour from that action. There could not have been any fire in these two compartments consequently no smoke (remember to old saying?).

When the lights went out, the only source of ignition for a coal dust or any other dust fire would be from a spark caused by steel on steel. Coal dust like an other inflammable dust has to be dry. What were the chances of any dry coal dust remaining in water vapor-filled compartments below the main deck?
 
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Aaron_2016

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If the stern keeled over 90 degrees to port, would the enormous grinding and tearing of the metal cause this to happen?




Would the sparks fly in every direction? If the air was exploding out of the ship would the sparks and smoke shoot upwards, creating the impression they were coming out of the funnels when in reality they were coming between the funnels from the breaking decks?


.
 

Rob Lawes

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Of the three operational funnels, the foremost was over boiler rooms 6 and 5 which we know were pulled out or underwater in the case of 6, long before the break up.

The second was over 4 and 3 and we have a number of testimonies that state the fires in 4 were pulled out.

I've not seen anything relating to the state of the fires in 3.

The third funnel covered boiler rooms 1 and 2 and we know for fact that boiler room 1 wasn't in use and boiler room 2 had to be in use because those boilers provided steam to the main and emergency electrical supplies.

For funnel two to emit anything it would depend on the state of the fires in boiler room 3.

I find the chance of a dust explosion to be highly improbable for many of of the reasons Jim stated.

A rush of water will displace air which may account for sparks being emitted from funnel 3.
 

Kyle Naber

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We know that sparks and smoke was produced out of one of the funnels from a couple of testimonies. But if not as a result of an explosion, what else?

There are accounts of hearing only one explosion, to multiple small ones.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Would there have been a chemical reaction with the icy salt water when the contents of the ship and kitchens spilt out when she broke? Was there any stocks or supplies that would cause this kind of explosive reaction?


Skip to 0:45





Charles Joughin was asked:

Q - On E deck are the portholes in practice opened from time to time?
A - Very, very often we keep them open the whole of the passage.


Perhaps this caused the water to flood the ship near the engines and kitchens, causing something inside to chemically react and explode.


.
 
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Jim Currie

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We know that sparks and smoke was produced out of one of the funnels from a couple of testimonies. But if not as a result of an explosion, what else?

There are accounts of hearing only one explosion, to multiple small ones.
Hello Kyle.

The reports were of the "sound" of an explosion. That's a BOOM! or a "BANG". That could easily have been caused by the sudden release of highly compressed air as it rapidly and suddenly expanded, as when the compartments were suddenly open to the surrounding air. Think burst balloon.
 

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