Today, the accident investigation boards of Sweden, Finland and Estonia are presenting preliminary conclusions after their investigations into the Estonia shipwreck. In this regard, they provided new images of the wreckage.
It was not seaworthy
The head of the Accident Investigation Board says the boat should never have been approved.
“Estonia” was not seaworthy, as stated in the Commission’s conclusion, reports Swedish Radio. The commission writes that eThe bow section inspection was never carried out and so the boat was wrongly certified.
– If the regulations had been followed, this accident probably would not have happened, says the head of the Accident Investigation Board Jonas Backstrand.
Investigators believe there are no indications of an explosion. No signs of it either They say “Estonia” must have hit something.
More than 45,000 new images provided a wealth of information about the damage to the ship.
– There are many pictures where you can clearly see the details of the ship. You get an overview that makes it easier to judge the damage a boat has done, Backstrand says.
He says the photos will make it easier to understand what happened when the passenger ferry sank.
The investigators concluded that the damage to Estonia matched rock formations at the bottom, and saw no reason to question the conclusions of the report written in 1997.
852 people died when Estonia sank one autumn night in 1994. Only 137 people survived the disaster. The bow gate was blown off in a severe storm, and large amounts of water poured onto the roof of the vehicle, causing the ferry to capsize.
Among the dead were six Norwegians.
At the end of May last year, the Estonia Accident Investigation Board conducted a laser scan of the wreck. It was the basis for a new investigation of the shipwreck using what is called photogrammetry.
This is a technology in which many images are taken and then combined into a 3D image, NTB writes.
The documentary revealed new loopholes
The background to the new investigations was the award-winning documentary series “Estonia – the discovery that changes everything” From 2020. The photos in the documentary showed, among other things, two holes in the ship’s hull, which were previously unknown.
This led to speculation that the cause of the sinking may have been different from what was concluded by the International Accident Investigation Board. It was believed that the bow door on the ferry opened due to the small size of the fasteners and latches.
In November 2021, the Swedish Accidents Investigation Board stated that the new holes may have been caused by rocks on the sea floor.
The journalists behind the documentary have been fined 40 a day in Sweden for breaching the grave peace that the Swedish authorities decided to apply to the wreck. The Public Prosecutor has appealed the verdict, who believes the sentence is too light.
Transported military materials
while working on the new report The Swedish defense confirmed to the Incident Investigation Board that they used the boat for what they called a handful of secret military transports.
Among other things, the Norwegian Defense Forces had an agreement that their cargo would not be checked by the Customs Service.
However, no such transfer was supposed to have taken place during the night of the accident in 1994, according to the defence.
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