Superstorm Sandy delays global launch of Titanic II

Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer today delayed the roll-out of details for his Titanic II project out of respect for the victims of superstorm Sandy.

The Queensland billionaire businessman had planned a series of five highbrow events as part of the unveiling of his modern version of the ill-fated passenger liner, the AAP news agency reported.

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled the city's world renowned New York Marathon last weekend as he didn't want a cloud to hang over the event in the wake of the hurricane and the damage it inflicted," Professor Palmer said.

"New York had a close relationship with the original RMS Titanic and the shipping company White Star Line and we believe it is too early to be holding our launch while the city and the region continues its recovery," Palmer said in a statement.

Events being held in Southampton, London, New York, Boston and Halifax in December have been postponed until late February next year, according to a statement issued by the project's Blue Star Line Brisbane base.

The global launch of Titanic II was scheduled for December 4, 2012, on the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York.

Dates for the rescheduled Titanic II events will be released in the next few weeks.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this unforeseen postponement of the Titanic II events," the statement read.

"However, we trust you will agree that it would be inappropriate to celebrate this exciting project while so many people are dealing with the loss of loved ones, or trying to piece their lives back together in the wake of the disaster," it said.

Superstorm Sandy crippled life along the US East Coast states including New York and New Jersey, and resulted in deaths of over 90 people as well as significant economic damage.

Palmer had unveiled his plans in April to build Titanic II, mirroring the exact dimensions of its predecessor - measuring 270 metres long (885 feet), 53 metres high and weighing 40,000 tonnes.

The ship is to have 840 rooms, nine decks and is set to make its first voyage carrying passengers in 2016.

More than 1,500 people had died when the liner Titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.

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