Belfast unveils birth-to-death story of Titanic

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“We are rushing to you,” says the Baltic at 1:37 a.m.

Eight minutes later, the Titanic issues its final call to another ship, the Carpathia: “Come as quickly as possible old man: The engine room is filling up to the boilers.”

After that the ship’s calls fade with its dying electrical power into simple pleas for “CQ,” code for “calling all ships.”

In the next section, visitors are invited to explore the stories of survivors and the final words of those who perished, most impressively by using interactive touch screens that link to family photos, diaries and related newspaper articles. The role of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in receiving 209 bodies buried in the town’s Protestant, Catholic and Jewish cemeteries is detailed.

Down a stairwell with a wall filled with ghost-white life preservers, visitors can hear and read testimony from the British and American inquests into how the disaster happened. Or they can explore one of several slick touch-screen databases of every passenger and crew member indexed by name, age, sex, nationality, job, cabin class, port of embarkation _ and whether they perished or survived.

More touch screens on this room offer light brain-teasing relief as visitors are asked to separate fact from fiction in a true-or-false format.

Spoiler alert _ here’s some tips that could improve your score:

Did the lookouts have no binoculars? Yes.

Did people with tickets fail to board? Yes.

Did the Titanic nearly collide with another vessel in Southampton? Yes.

Did Cameron base Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jack Dawson on a real passenger? You will have to answer that one yourself.

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Titanic Belfast, http://www.titanicbelfast.com

Titanic Belfast Festival, http://bit.ly/H6iVMd

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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