Disasters

The tragedy of the Morro Castle disaster to the ship, arranged a national hero of the USA

The best way to profit in the years of prohibition — alcohol. This simple Maxim in 1930 he adopted the American company Ward Line, operating in the shipping market. Businessmen organized a weekly flight to Cuba, where they were equally accessible rum and women.

The dollars poured in. In less than four years, the luxury liner Morro Castle made 173 extremely profitable voyage to Havana. But the 174th ended terrible mystical tragedy. Someone poisoned the captain and burned the ship. Killed over a hundred people. The culprit of the accident was calculated just 19 years and he was the man for action in case of fire was awarded the medal “For bravery”.

On the evening of 7 September 1934, the Morro Castle was finished a trip on the “drunk line” new York — Havana. The rest of the trip was less than five hours, but before the captain had to give the traditional Banquet to mark the end of the cruise.

However, Robert Wilmott, had the honor of passengers of their presence in the cabin at the captain’s table. The captain wasn’t feeling very well and ordered the watch to apologize for him and serve dinner to the cabin. In an hour the ship’s doctor diagnosed the captain’s death from poisoning. He was found in the bathtub half naked.

Robert Wilmott.

The news of the death Wilmotte reverberated through the ship. Music and laughter ceased, the Banquet was canceled, and the passengers retired to their cabins.

In the third hour of the night new York firefighter John Kempf woke up to the smell of burning. He jumped into the corridor, ran around the deck and found the fire in the room of the ship library. Metal Cabinet stuffed with papers, burning a strange blue flame. John rushed to the hydrant, but the pressure is not there. The man began to knock at the doors of the cabins, and the fire, meanwhile, grew rapidly. For some strange reason, the fire suppression system malfunctioned.

Senior assistant William Jake, the acting captain, was extremely stupid. Instead of immediately to signal SOS, he waited more than 15 minutes, hoping that the fire will be eliminated. Besides, Jake is not dispatched one of his assistants to supervise the fire fighting. With fire struggled clumsily passengers themselves. This, in essence, Jake and got two years in prison.

William Jake.

Become Worms was the team. Chief engineer, Eban Abbott alarm has not appeared on the bridge, neither was he in the engine room. It turned out that he organized the descent of the lifeboat and he sat in it. His example was followed by many members of the crew. They saved their own skins.

Almost the entire ship was enveloped in flames. The head of the vessel radio station George Rogers, risking their lives, reached the radio room and suffocating smoke was able to tap out a distress signal and to transmit the coordinates of the dying ship. He also pointed out to people the way to the boats and tried to somehow calm the panic.

By dawn the fully burnt and still smoldering liner only a few people. To Morro Castle is approached by a rescue ship of the U.S. Navy Tampa. The burnt ship was towed to deliver in new York. But during transport, the weather deteriorated and the tow rope snapped. Morro Castle drifted more than ten hours before he was thrown aground near the beach, the amusement Park in Asbury NJ.

The next morning hundreds of people, upon hearing of the tragedy, came to the beach to gawk at Morro Castle. The owners of the Park took $ 10 for the right to get on Board. Visitors were given respiratory masks, lanterns, and fire boots.

Subsequently, some businessman offered to members of the company Ward Line to sell the hull for a hundred thousand dollars he was going to arrange a house of horror. But the owners of the Morro Castle chose to take the ship for scrap — the reputation is more expensive.

As a result of the tragedy killed 134 people (all on Board were more than 500 passengers and crew members). The expert opinion in the criminal case consisted of 12 volumes. William Jake lost navigation license and was sentenced to two years in prison, Eban Abbott received four. George Rogers, in turn, became an overnight national hero and Congress awarded him a gold medal “For bravery”.

George Rogers.

Soon Rogers left the Maritime service and went to his hometown, where he became head of the radio workshop in the police Department. His fame gradually waned, and until 1953 it disappeared from radar. Yet again appeared on the front pages, but in a very different light.

Rogers was accused of murdering 83-year-old compositor of the printing house of William Hummel and his daughter Edith. During the investigation unexpectedly revealed shocking facts. Rogers was a pyromaniac and the cause of death of the liner Morro Castle, he’s poisoned the captain Wilmott.

It was established that one hour before departure of the ship from Havana, the captain saw the radio officer with two bottles of some chemicals, was ordered to throw them overboard. Wilmott and Rogers have long feuded, and crazy, as it turned out, the radio operator decided to poison the captain. He slipped a strong poison into the food, and when Wilmott died, set fire to the ship with time bombs. He pulled paroobrazovaniya and spilled gasoline.

Rogers was given a life. Four years later he died in prison from a heart attack.

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