Titanic survivor's tale sells for £20,000

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A woman's account of escaping the sinking Titanic in 1912 has sold for £20,000 at auction.

Laura Francatelli's story was published for the first time in early October.

It was bought by an Eastern European collector when it went under the hammer at Henry Aldrige and Son in Wiltshire at the weekend.

In it, Miss Francatelli described how she heard an "awful rumbling" as the liner went down and "screams and cries" from 1,500 drowning passengers.

Her account was recorded in a signed affidavit for the official British inquiry into the disaster.

The Titanic was built at Belfast's Harland & Wolff shipyard. She was billed as "unsinkable".

But, on her maiden voyage to New York on 15 April 1912, she hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank, killing 1,521 people.

Miss Francatelli, who was 31 at the time, was travelling with baronet Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and his wife Lady Lucy Christiana, as his secretary.

The account describes how they boarded one of the last lifeboats containing just five passengers and seven crew, admitting they did not consider going back for survivors....

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