The Empress was struck by the Norwegian collier Storstad, a 6,000-ton vessel heading up
river from Sydney, Nova Scotia.The ship appeared out of a dense fog bank and heading straight for the Empress.
It took just 14 minutes for the St. Lawrence River to swallow the Canadian Pacific's RMS. Empress of Ireland in the pre-dawn of May 29, 1914. The disaster claimed 1,012 lives. More passengers, but less crew, perished in this tragedy than in the infamous Titanic sinking of 1912, and the catastrophe ranks as Canada's worst maritime disaster.
Three months after the Empress of Ireland sank, the First World War broke out. The tragedy was quickly overtaken by death in Europe on an unfathomable scale. The Empress lay on the bottom, largely forgotten, until 1998 when the shipwreck became the first underwater heritage site in Quebec. Extract from accompaning text by Gavin Murphy
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