Painting of sinking Lusitania ship
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Lusitania: Survivors' tales as 100 year anniversary remembrance to be held

Thousands of people are expected to gather today in Ireland and Liverpool to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania.

Nearly 1,200 people died when the passenger liner was hit by a German torpedo off the Irish coast.

No one knows why she sank in just 18 minutes, but there were reports of a second explosion shortly after the torpedo hit.

The presence of ammunition on the ship has led some to suggest that Germany legitimately identified the Lusitania as a war target, though, at the time, the existence of the shells on board the passenger liner was kept secret by the British government.

The American owner of the wreck has called on the Irish government to allow artefacts to be removed from the vessel to try to find out what caused the second explosion, to give families the fullest possible explanation of how and why their loved ones died.

Produced by Tim Nicholson and Duncan Kennedy.

  • 07 May 2015