Channel Collision: `We thought it was like Titanic'

TRAUMATISED PASSENGERS on board the Norwegian Dream luxury liner which collided with a container ship yesterday morning talked of how they had feared "another Titanic".

Arielle Adelman, 16, fromBrooklyn, New York, was among the 1,726 passengers on the 12-day cruise. "We weren't sure if it was going to sink," she said. "When I heard the bang I really pictured another Titanic and started running to the deck. It was really scary ... I was walking down the hall and fell over. The ship started shaking and things started falling."

Others described how they had been flung out of bed by the collision at 1am. Stacy Catz, 22, a White House intern from Springfield, New Jersey, was in cabin 6223, which felt the full force of the hit. "I was asleep in bed and was literally flung out of my bed. The floor buckled up," she said. "There was glass flying everywhere. It was a huge bang. I was very, very frightened. I didn't know what to think."

Her mother, Sharon, 50, added: "I was so scared that my daughter was going to be washed out of the window." Some on the liner blamed the cargo vessel, Ever Decent, which had been approaching from behind. "Our ship was lit up like a Christmas tree. There were lights everywhere," said Jan Hulsebos, a passenger. "How could the container ship not see us?"

Mr Hulsebos, a travel firm director, was dozing at the time. "There was this huge crash. I had done military service and it was like five hand grenades going off. Outside the porthole I could see this other ship bearing down. It was so close I could have shaken hands with someone on deck," he said.

Bob Gedan, 62, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said there were some anxious moments among passengers, but never any panic. The crew remained calm and handled the situation "very, very well", he added.