Encyclopedia Titanica

Titanic victim in Chicago tells of Self-death

Chicago American

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Remarkable strength of Carl Janson, another of the surviving passengers of the Titanic, kept him alive in the frigid ocean for six hours, hanging to a door with twenty others after the ship sunk. Janson reached Chicago today and told of his terrifying experiences when the queen of the seas went down.

Janson is twenty-one and a robust young man. He was a third cabin passenger and after the wreck was nearly frozen to death. When he reached New York the White Star Line gave him a cheap suit of clothes, an overcoat and $10 in money to sign a release of the line from further damages. Janson lost $50 and all his luggage on the boat.

Janson saw Chief Officer Murdock shoot himself just before the last boat was launched. He gave a graphic story of the sinking of the great liner with its human freight. His story proves that the passengers almost two hours after the ship struck were not warned of the danger that confronted them. The steerage passengers especially, even when told to get up, were given the information that “there is not great danger.”

“I had gone to bed,” said Janson, “and was asleep when I was awakened by stewards, who called out that the ship had struck an iceberg, but that there was no great danger. They told us, however, to get up. That was about 11:30, or more than an hour and five minutes after the Titanic had struck the iceberg.

“I arose and dressed, even putting on my overcoat before going on deck. There did not appear to be any great excitement in the steerage quarters. I went to the top deck. No one attempted to stop me.

“Women and children only were allowed to come out of the steerage after that. Shortly before the last boat was launched I glanced toward the bridge and saw the chief officer place a revolver in his mouth and shoot himself. His body topped overboard. I waited for the last boat to leave and then jumped overboard myself. I was swimming not more than twenty feet from the ship when she upended and went down.
The Titanic did not break in two, though there were two explosions. I saw her propellers as she went under. The suction was small. A door from the wreck was flung near me and I grasped it with more than twenty others. We clung to that door for hours. One by one the others slipped off and sank.

The water after the sinking of the Titanic was dotted with persons and floating ice cakes. The cries and moans continued for hours. I cannot see why more could not have been rescued. It was 7 in the morning when I was picked up.”

Janson left on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway to-day for Swedeburg. Neb., where he has a brother.

Chicago American, Thursday, April 25, 1912, p. 2, c. 4:


Thomas E. Golembiewski


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2007) Titanic victim in Chicago tells of Self-death (Chicago American, Thursday 25th April 1912, ref: #5502, published 5 March 2007, generated 2nd December 2022 10:29:30 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim-chicago-tells-self-death.html