The sinking of the RMS Titanic may have been caused by an enormous fire on board, not by hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, experts have claimed, as new evidence has been published to support the theory.

More than 1,500 passengers lost their lives when the Titanic sank on route to New York from Southampton in April 1912.

While the cause of the disaster has long been attributed to the iceberg, fresh evidence has surfaced of a fire in the ship’s hull, which researchers say burned unnoticed for almost three weeks leading up to the collision.

While experts have previously acknowledged the theory of a fire on board, new analysis of rarely seen photographs has prompted researchers to blame the fire as the primary cause of the ship’s demise.

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