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DNA Test Unravels Titanic Claim

A DNA test has solved a long-standing mystery surrounding a possible Titanic survivor, the Telegraph reports. Years after the ocean liner sank in 1912, Helen Kramer came forward to say that she was Loraine Allison, a two-year-old traveling on the ship who was thought to have died when it sank.

Kramer, who died in 1992, knew enough details about the family to convince some distant Allison relatives that she was Loraine, but not most of them, the Telegraph adds. She said she'd been rescued from the ship by being placed in a lifeboat at the last minute and was raised by a Mr. Hyde, who she said was actually Thomas Andrews, the designer and builder of the ship, and who was also thought to have died in the wreck.

After Kramer died, her descendants kept on her cause to be accepted by the Allison family, and with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, there was renewed in interest in the story and a Loraine Allison Identification Project was formed. As part of the project, a forensic scientist conducted DNA testing on members of the Allison family and Kramer's granddaughter.

The results indicated that Kramer was not Loraine Allison. Loraine, then, the Telegraph notes, was the only child in first or second class to die in the sinking of the Titanic.

"It is good to have a resolution here, but we mustn't forget that this is all about one of the more tragic of tales to come from the Titanic," says Tracy Oost, a forensic scientist at Laurentian University and Titanic researcher, in the Telegraph.