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Patria Disaster Laid to Sabotage by Inquiry Commission

March 19, 1941
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A report stating that sabotage was the cause of the explosion and sinking of the S.S. Patria in Haifa harbor last Nov. 25 has been forwarded to High Commissioner Sir Harold A. MacMichael by the Special Commission of Inquiry which investigated the disaster.

The three-man commission found that arrangements for safeguarding the ship before the explosion seemed adequate and that the subsequent rescue was carried out with all possible speed.

Recounting the Patria’s history, the report said that at the time of the explosion there were 1,904 illegal immigrants aboard who had arrived on three different vessels during November. The Palestine Government requisitioned the Patria to transport the illegals to a British colony.

At the time the report was drawn up 156 bodies had been recovered, leaving 112 unaccounted for. It is probable that some of these escaped ashore, said the commission. The members were Supreme Court Justice Alan Rose, Brig. Gen. A.J. McNeill and Naval Commander J. L. Edwards.

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