April 15, 1912: Titanic's Forward Funnel Falls
Monday, April 15th
The most noticeable features of Titanic were her four towering funnels. The first three funnels emitted the exhaust from the boilers and engines. The last funnel was a ventilator. The funnels were constructed of a steel frame covered with thin steel plating.
As the water began to flow over the roofs of the deck houses on the boat deck, it reaches the base of the forward most funnel. While attempting to connect collapsible A to the davit, 1st Officer Murdoch cut some of the stays that supported the funnel because they were in the way.
Due to Titanic's list to port, extra strain was placed on the remaining stays on the starboard side. Once the base of the funnel was submerged, the pressure of the water began to buckle the thin outer steel of the funnel inward.
Passengers would later testify to hearing what sounded like gunshots as the remaining stays supporting the funnel snapped and hit the water like whips. The funnel being elliptical in shape fell over to the port side and smashed everything and everyone in the vicinity. This then created a wave that washed away the overturned collapsible B.