Titanic Sinking - Cold Killed Victims


Of Seventeen Picked Up by the Minia Only One Was Drowned.


The Montmagny Will Continue Search for Bodies---White Star Line Thanks Canadian Government.

Special to The New York Times.

HALIFAX, N. S., May 6.---Scores of persons were alive and floating about the ocean for hours after the Titanic sank according to the ship's physician on board the steamer Minia, which arrived to-day. Of seventeen bodies recovered only one of the victims met death by drowning, all others having perished from exposure.

These bodies were carefully examined by the ship's physician and the Rev. H. Ward Cunningham. Water was found in the lungs of only one. The physician and minister express the belief that some of the passengers livid[sic] for hours after the vessel sank. All the bodies had life jackets on and they were in a remarkably good state of preservation, considering that some had been in the water nearly two weeks.

It is believed that a systematic search by steamers in the vicinity at the time of the disaster, after the life boats had transferred the survivors to the Carpathia, would have resulted in the rescue of many more.

"I believe there was an explosion on the Titanic," said one of the crew of the Minia, "for pieces of coal were found with the hair in the seat of a saloon chair which was badly damaged. Even parts of a mahogany staircase were found floating having been torn from its fastenings by some great force."

"The Minia had rough weather," said the Rev. Mr. Cunningham. "We experienced only two pleasant days. I saw but two icebergs, one of them shaped like a great tent, with two sprawling branches protruding from it's base. The officers, however, told me that they sighted a number of bergs in the distance. We reached the scene of the wreck at 9 o'clock Thursday night. About 10 minutes before 9 I asked Capt. De Carteret about how long it told me, and I went below and put on my surplice, and the whole ship's company assembled, speaking only in whispers. I can give you no idea of the feeling aboard ship as we realized that we were at last on the scene of that stupendous catastrophe which the whole world is mourning.

"I conducted a solemn memorial. service, composing a special prayer therefore, and we then dispersed to our several duties.

"The bodies we recovered were found miles apart, and such success as we attained was due to expert navigation and good luck.'

"The bodies we recovered were found miles apart, and such success as we attained was due to expert navigation and good luck."

Of the seventeen bodies recovered fifteen were brought to port, the other two, the bodies of unidentified firemen, being buried at sea.

The bodies preserved were those of Charles M. Hays, President of the Grand Trunk Railway; Joseph Fynney of J. Fynney & Co., rubber merchants of Liverpool, England, who was a second class passenger; three third class passengers, and ten members of the crew.

Owing to difficulties due to the rough sea, the treatment of the bodies on the cableship was of a temporary nature. That of Mr. Hays was embalmed here to-day. It was taken to the home at Montreal on a special train. The family plan to have the burial private. When Capt. Roberts of the Astor yacht learned that the body of the late John Jacob Astor's valet had not been found, he arranged to start for New York to-night.

The Minia arrived at the cableship Mackay-Bennett's position at midnight April 25. At 5:30 o'clock the next morning search for the bodies was begun, and at 7:30 that evening eleven bodies had been found.

The next day a further careful search was made, and although one body was seen drifting past the steamer in the dense fog the search for it in a small boat was unsuccessful. On May 3, the search was continued for several hours, but without success, and Capt. De. Carteret reluctantly gave up the quest and headed his ship for Halifax. The line of demarcation of the Gulf Stream was plainly indicated by a wall of fog and a sudden rise in temperature of the water from 36 to 56 degrees in the space of the ship's length.

The New York Times, New York, NY 7 May 1912