Nation: Last Voyage

It was late afternoon, and many of the 706 passengers of the Italian cruise ship Angelina Laura were straggling back after a day of shopping in the small seaport of Charlotte Amalie in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the galley, preparations were under way for dinner. Then an electrical wire caught fire, perhaps ignited by some burning grease, and soon the flames were spreading uncontrollably through the luxury liner. Said Fireman Boyd Brown: "There were flames shooting out of every porthole on all decks. It was like a towering inferno."

Throughout the night the...

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