Plans made to blow up sunken liner to recover bodies, $1 million

MONTREAL, June 2, 1914 (UP)-Plans are being laid to blow up the sunken hulk of the shipwrecked liner Empress of Ireland to recover hundreds of bodies of victims who went down with the vessel and $ 1,000,000 in silver bullion in its hold.

The quest for bodies in being kept up by launches that cruise about the scene of the disaster in St. Lawrence bay off Father Point. But the great majority of the corpses of the nearly 1,000 persons that perished will not be recovered until the hulk is dynamited.


Responsibility for the disaster will not be fixed without a bitter controversy between eh two ship commanders and their partisans. Capt. Anderson of the collier Storstad, and is in turn accused by Anderson. Each is supported by his crew.

While Capt. Kendall has the support of the survivors and the Canadian Pacific railway. Capt. Anderson's account is corroborated by his wife, who was on the bridge on the Storstad, and whose version of the collision holds the liner responsible.

In reply to statements made by survivors of the Empress that most of them were saved by Empress lifeboats, Capt Anderson said:

"I haven't got any words to talk about that. I don't know what to say. It is so wrong that there's no use to reply. It is beyond anything-beyond all reason. Some people have said strange things. They said I was smiling when I came in here yesterday. If I was smiling then, why should I be crying now?"


At Quebec the sad labor of identifying the bodies made considerable progress throughout the night. Ninety-nine have been recognized.

There have been many extraordinary cases in which several persons disagreed as to the identity of the dead.

Each commander almost unqualifiedly places the responsibility upon the shoulders of the other.

An examination of the Storstad shows that the Empress of Ireland had probably been ripped open by the sharp flukes of the collier's anchor. The points of the anchor project from the collier's bow, and an inspection of the shattered plates showed that the anchor was jammed in a position where it must have torn through the hull of the Empress like an great can opener.

There were blood stains on the anchor point and portions of the battered steel surrounding it bore stains of blood. These stains seem to bear testimony as to how some of the passengers met death.

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