October 25, 1927 – The Italian luxury liner departed from Cape Verde islands with 971 passengers and 288 crew members. En route to Rio de Janeiro, a broken propeller shaft led to a massive engine room leak, causing a boiler to explode and set the ship on fire. Principessa Mafalda stayed afloat for a few hours, allowing rescue ships to assist some – but certainly not all – of the passengers. More than 300 people died, including many Italian and Syrian immigrants heading for Argentina and Brazil. The ship carried 300 tons of cargo, including several hundred mailbags and 250,000 gold lira.