Patria Toll Reaches 25; 233 Still Unaccounted for

The known fatality list in Monday’s explosion and sinking of the refugee ship Patria in Haifa harbor rose to 25 today when two more corpses were extracted from the partly-submerged hulk and one of the injured passengers died in the hospital.

Of the remainder of the 1,771 Jewish refugees who had been scheduled for deportation to a British colony for duration of the war, 233 had not yet been accounted for, 9 were detained in hospitals, 13 escaped from hospitals and the rest were being held in the Ataint detention camp.

Further details of the explosion and rescues were given today as follows:

The Patria, a French steamer of 11,885 tons formerly belonging to the Messageries Maritimes line, had taken aboard the 1,771 refugees who had arrived on Nov. 9–1,067 the S.S. Pacific and 719 on the S.S. Milos, apprehended in Palestine waters as illegal immigrants. The ship had been scheduled to leave soon for a British colony, but the sailing was postponed.

The explosion occurred suddenly on Monday morning while most of the passengers were on deck. Those on the upper deck heard an explosion and a “boiling noise” which continued while the ship heeled over. They jumped or were thrown overboard.

British police and Austrian soldiers on duty in the harbor jumped into the bay, picking up the unfortunates and pulling them into passing boats. Every available harbor boat, launch and tug raced to the refugees’ rescue, in addition to many who swam to their aid. This made possible the rescue of more than a thousand within a few minutes.

The rescue was conducted under the personal command of the naval officer in charge, Captain Guy Lydekker. The rescuers, according to eyewitnesses, showed superhuman bravery and devotion, for which the Jewish community has expressed deep appreciation. The survivors were taken to a transit shed where they were supplied with blankets, clothing and food. The injured were taken on stretchers by the Red Cross and the Red Shield to Government and Hadassah hospitals.

Two funerals for groups of the dead were held on Tuesday. Twenty-three of the 25 fatalities had been identified by this morning. They are:

Jacob Filzenstein, one of the two whose bodies were taken from the ship yesterday; Greta Hornica, who died in the hospital; Mrs. Gita Bloch, Groch Bochov, Rosa Dick, Naomi Feiger, Mrs. Rosa Feiner, Walter Fleischmann, Mrs. Friedlander, Max Fuchs, Bertha Kolb, Zali Kornfeld, Alfred Moskovitch, Feivel Perl, Martha Rosenzweig, Elsa Scheckler, Franciska Seligmann, Skornik, a 13-year-old boy; Rosalie Stiassni and Joseph Stransky.

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