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Charles Haas on: The Conditions on the "Florida"
Charles Haas Q: Take me over to "Florida" and tell me what's happening on that ship?

CH: The "Florida" situation was somewhat different. The many passengers on that ship, approximately eight hundred of them, had in many cases, just gone through a terrible earthquake in Italy. And they were escaping the ruins of that earthquake by way of the "Florida" to come to the New World. So when this accident occurred, some of them in their sleep, perhaps, felt that they were actually experiencing a recreation of a furthering of the earthquake. And, as a result, they poured out of their cabins in a panicked environment. Many of them when they found out that the ship was in collision instantly thought that, you know, the end was at hand, that this ship was going to sink. So there was a condition approaching pandemonium on some of the lower decks of the "Florida." And Captain Ruspini immediately dispatches his officers down below and through their calming efforts and the efforts on the part of the stewards, most of them were calmed and sent back to their bunks. You know, there's no real immediate danger. There are actually some cases, I think, where you know they had to become fairly enforcing these people back down from the upper deck and tell them there really isn't anything to worry about it. So it was an incipient panic that was quickly quelled by the "Florida's" officers and crew.

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