Was the sinking of the ill-fated RMS Titanic actually caused by an iceberg? New evidence seems to support a different theory that claims the ship sank because of a massive coal fire.

In a recently-aired documentary, titled “Titanic: The New Evidence,” Irish journalist Senan Molony suggests that the fire damaged the ship’s hull, compromising the ship long before it even began its journey. “It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence,” he argues in the documentary, according to The New York Times. “The fire was known about, but it was played down. She should never have been put to sea.”

A collection of old photographs reveals the evidence quite clearly, Molony suggests.

The collection features images of Titanic’s construction and the preparations that were made prior to its maiden voyage. In detailed photographs, a 30-foot-long mark could be seen on the starboard side of the ship from when it was still in the shipyard.

Located near the area the iceberg pierced, analysis revealed it had more than likely been a fire in the coal bunker, according to the article. This would have severely compromised the ship’s structural integrity long before it hit the iceberg.

The sinking of the Titanic has long been the center of numerous conspiracy theories, including claims that the Titanic’s sister ship was actually the one that sank or that it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Another theory claims the moon helped sink the Titanic.

Titanic struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic on the night of April 14, 1912. It was carrying approximately 2,200 passengers, 1,500 of which went down with the ship or froze to death given the lack of lifeboats.

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Photo credit: Cliff, Flickr