Scientists unveil new Titanic discoveries

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Undersea explorers said Monday that the discovery of more wreckage from the Titanic suggests that the luxury liner broke into three sections _ not two, as commonly thought _ and thus sank faster than previously believed.

"The breakup and sinking of the Titanic has never been accurately depicted," Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian, said at a conference at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

The ocean liner that was billed as "unsinkable" by its owner struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and went down in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912. About 1,500 people were killed.

Undersea explorer Robert Ballard located the bulk of the wreck in 1985, at a depth of 13,000 feet and about 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland. He declared that the ship had broken into two major sections, and that is the way the sinking was portrayed in the 1997 movie about he catastrophe.

However, the latest expedition, sponsored by the History Channel, found two hull pieces, each roughly 40 feet by 90 feet and lying about a third of a mile from the rest of the wreck. The explorers said the location of the wreckage indicates that the ship's bottom came off the ship intact _ constituting a third major piece _ and later broke in two.

Ballard played down the importance of the find.

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