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On September 8, 1934, a fire broke out in the passengers' library of the cruise ship "Morro Castle", the Ward Line's "pride of the Havana Run." The ship's captain, 55-year-old Robert Wilmott, had died of acute indigestion that night. By 3am the fire was out of control, passengers were milling about on the deck, but the acting captain plowed on, a high wind whipping the flames. Finally, lifeboats were launched and an SOS message was sent -- but not before 134 people died.

(this is one of the New Jersey disasters)

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