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Chinese buys key that killed 1,522 on Titanic
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A Chinese jeweler bought a key that led to the sinking of the colossal Titanic 95 years ago for 78,000 pounds (US$157,930) in London on Saturday.

Shen Dongjun, the new owner of the key, is the CEO of TESIRO China, the largest jewelry retailer opened by a European company on the Chinese mainland, according to the Nanjing-based Yangtze Evening News.

The key that led to the death of 1,522 passengers and crew on the Titanic 95 years ago sold at an auction over the weekend.

The key will go on display in Nanjing soon, said the report.

Shen entrusted Kunal Mehta, the son of Kaushik Mehta, Board Chairman of TESIRO, to take part in the auction held by Christies in London on Saturday afternoon.

The key was the only one that could open the binocular telescope on the Titanic's lookout platform during her virgin voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.

David Blair, the second mate on the ship, was in charge of the key but forgot to hand it to others when he was replaced by a more experienced seaman, Henry Wilder, the report said.

Shen Dongjun, the new owner of the key

Lookouts had to observe the surroundings with their naked eyes when the ship was sailing across the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

By the time they spotted an iceberg, it was too late to avoid it.

The Titanic sunk rapidly as five of her sixteen watertight compartments flooded.

Up to 1,522 passengers and crew died.

The daughter of Blair donated the key to a local sailor's association in the 1980s.

At least 400 items including letters and post cards related to the ship were on sale at the auction.

(Shanghai Daily September 25, 2007)

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