Researchers believe that the RMS Titanic, the passenger liner that famously sank when it struck an iceberg in 1912, could have actually been sunk by an uncontrollable fire.

New evidence published today points to a fire that was building in the ship’s hull.   Researchers suggest that this fire had burned for two weeks.  Fifteen hundred people lost their lives when the Titanic sunk in 1912.

New photographs have emerged which show the ship before it left Belfast shipyard.  They were taken at the time by the vessel’s chief electrical engineer.

Senan Molony, a journalist who has been studying the disaster for almost 30 years has stated he can identify 30 feet long black marks.  These marks are on the rright-handside of the hull.  The iceberg pierced the hull just in front of these marks.

He said, “We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg stuck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place, before she even left Belfast”.

Experts have concluded that the marks were caused by a fire in the ship’s three storey high fuel store.

Twelve men tried to fight the fire, but temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius made this impossible.  As such, when the weekend steel hull struck the iceberg, it tore open far easier than it should have done.

By all accounts the president of the company that built the Titanic, J Bruce Ismay, told officers aboard the vessel not to mention the fire to any of the ship’s passengers.

Mr Molony continues, “The official Titanic inquiry branded [the sinking] as an act of God. This isn’t a simple story of colliding with an iceberg and sinking.

“It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence.

“Nobody has investigated these marks before. It totally changes the narrative. We have metallurgy experts telling us that when you get that level of temperature against steel it makes it brittle, and reduces its strength by up to 75 per cent.

“The fire was known about, but it was played down. She should never have been put to sea.”

He went on to say that Ismay ordered that the ship should reverse into port so nobody would see the damage caused by the fire.