USS Maine exploded and sank on 15 February 1898 in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. The ship had steamed into the harbor to protect US citizens and property from unrest caused by locals over Spain's occupation of Cuba.
Who or what ca used the explosion that sank the battleship ? The answer given in 1898 was that a (Spanish ?) mine caused the catastrophe and it provoked the Spanish-American War (April-December 1898), a "splendid little war" won by the USA.
"Now a hundred years after the loss of the Maine, the National Geographic Society has commissioned a new study by Advanced Marine Enterprises, which conducts warship-design studies for the U.S. Navy. Using computer modeling, engineers performed a heat-transfer analysis to see if heat from burning coal could pass through a bulkhead and ignite a powder magazine. Then they performed a blast analysis to find out if an underwater mine could cause the bottom to fail, push the inner bottom plating into a magazine, and ignite the powder. The results are presented in National Geographic, Vol. 193, No 2 (February 1998):92-111.
Actually the study did not solve the problem but proved that a fire in the coal bunker could have caused an explosion as well as a small mine could have had the same results.