The film crew discovered the hole in the ship's hull while using a remote-controlled submarine to explore the wreckage. FILE - In this Nov. 19, 1994 file photo, the bow door of the sunken passenger ferry M/S Estonia is lifted up from the bottom of the sea, off Uto Island, in the Baltic Sea. STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden said on Friday it would allow an underwater examination of the ferry Estonia, which sank in the Baltic 26 years ago with the loss of 852 lives, after a documentary film showed previously unknown holes in the wreck's hull. In underwater fleet of Estonia the new ship has acted. The Government of the Republic of Estonia. All other scheduled ferries were at sea. “But the surviving witnesses – whose testimony really didn’t feature in the report – were clear that it all started with that bang,” Evertsson said. The foreign ministers of Finland, Estonia, and Sweden have agreed to jointly assess new evidence regarding the Estonia ferry that sank in 1994. Estonia’s prime minister, Jüri Ratas, said the documentary’s findings “raise questions that have to be answered”, adding that his country would be taking the lead “to ensure respect for the wreck, and the transparency of the process”. 852 people died when it sank in September 1994. or a quarter of a century, a lack of firm evidence has prevented any real challenge to the official story of how, on a stormy September night, more than 850 people came to die in Europe’s. MS Estonia, a 16,000-ton cruise ferry that began serving the Tallinn-Stockholm route in 1993 and was operated by the Swedish-Estonian shipping company, Estline, was the largest ship sailing under the Estonian flag at the time. pld. The disaster had a major impact on ferry safety, leading to changes in safety regulations as well as in life-raft design, much as the Titanic disaster did in 1912. Sweden wants to lift a diving ban to re-examine why the ship sank. A crew member who survived the accident told the BBC at the time that he had seen a loading bay door open and taking in water minutes before the ship sank. Read about our approach to external linking. Pursuant to an agreement concluded between Estonia, Finland and Sweden a "Joint Accident Investigation Commission" for the investigation of the capsizing of the passenger vessel MV ESTONIA on 28 September 1994 was set up on 29 September 1994, in accordance with a decision taken by the … Sweden said on Friday it would allow an underwater examination of the ferry Estonia, which sank in the Baltic 26 years ago with the loss of 852 lives, after a documentary film showed previously unknown holes in the wreck's hull. The vessel was sailing from Estonia to Sweden on 28 September 1994 when it sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland. Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said the country’s accident investigation board would examine the evidence. The Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid (second right), at a ceremony in Tallinn to mark 25 years since the sinking of the MS Estonia. Now we know.”, As a Swedish national, Evertsson finds himself facing prosecution in Gothenburg district court for violating a protected site. Groups representing the victims’ families have long called for a fresh investigation, saying the bang, and the speed with which the ship sank, were consistent with a collision. Others, fuelled by evidence the Estonia had carried military equipment during that September, blamed an explosion – which two 2005 inquiries ruled out. The MS Estonia ferry sank as it was crossing from Tallinn to Stockholm in September 1994, killing 852 people. The MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland on September 28, 1994, after the ship’s bow door locks failed during a storm, prompting the vessel to capsize within moments as hundreds of its passengers were left trapped. Finland’s foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, said the footage appeared to be genuine, adding: “It wasn’t caused by an explosion. At 6.30pm on 27 September 1994, the ferry MS Estonia– the largest ship then flying the flag of the young Baltic republic, and a symbol of recently regained independence – … “They are calling from all over Europe, thanking us, many of them crying. But survivors and relatives of the victims have long been calling for a fuller investigation, and various unproven theories have circulated since the tragedy. People from 17 countries lost their lives in the disaster. The ferry quickly listed to starboard and sank into the frigid Baltic Sea in less than 45 minutes under circumstances which can only be described as mysterious. So it is quite big.”. The official investigation concluded in 1997 that the roll-on, roll-off ferry's bow shield had failed, damaging the bow ramp and flooding the car deck. The three countries said they would "assess new information" which could contradict the official explanation. We didn’t go near the inside. “But we decided the only responsible course of action was go and look. The film-makers’ findings, made public for the first time last week, have prompted a flurry of diplomatic activity. Hoping to avoid prosecution, the film-makers chartered a boat flying the flag of Germany – the only Baltic Sea state not to have signed the 1995 treaty – and sent down a camera attached to “a sort of underwater drone”, said Evertsson. In the simulation, the "bombs" were set to explode about half way between the Estonian and Swedish coasts, which is where the ship actually sank in September 1994 after a similar mock bomb threat exercise. We saw nothing. “We could have just reported the various theories and left it at that,” said Evertsson, who with his colleague Bendik Mondal led the team behind a new five-part Discovery Networks documentary released this week, Estonia: the Find that Changes Everything. “We do not speculate, and we draw no conclusions,” the Swedish documentary film-maker said, carefully. The passenger ferry MS Estonia in the docks in Tallinn. Screenshot from the documentary And the ship went down so incredibly fast.”. Of the 852 people killed, 501 were Swedish and 285 were Estonian. In September, a documentary showed underwater footage, obtained through a dive using a remote-controlled submersible, revealing a hitherto unrecorded four-metre (13-foot) hole in the ship… Video, Covid-trapped Brit cleaning up Taiwan's rivers, Georgia Senate election: Raphael Warnock projected to win seat for Democrats, Dr Dre: Rap legend in hospital after brain aneurysm, US election 2020: The people who still believe Trump won, Covid: WHO team investigating virus origins denied entry to China, Lai Xiaomin: Criticism of death sentence on former Chinese tycoon, Covid: England's third national lockdown legally comes into force, US Congress set to certify Joe Biden victory amid protests, Coronavirus: Dutch shocked to be EU vaccination stragglers, National security law: Mass arrests among Hong Kong pro-democracy camp, Covid travel: Why Instagram is still full of celebrities 'on holiday'. Final report on the MV ESTONIA disaster of 28 September 1994. VideoWhy the unique ‘drumming’ bird is in peril, Why Instagram is still full of influencers 'on holiday', BBC Worklife: The four keys to unlock procrastination, playCovid-trapped Brit cleaning up Taiwan's rivers. The documentary team made a shocking discovery when they surveyed the Estonia wreck with an underwater drone Credit: Discovery “We found … For 20 years, he said, “we have been demanding another investigation, citing experts who say the ship could not have sunk that fast unless it was holed below the waterline. Shocked to be Europe's vaccination stragglers, playWhy the unique ‘drumming’ bird is in peril. New underwater footage of the shipwreck from a Swedish documentary about the disaster shows extensive damage on the starboard side, including a previously unknown 4-metre hole. © 2021 BBC. The 1997 report by an accident investigation committee set up jointly by Estonia, Sweden and Finland concluded that the locks on the bow visor failed, allowing it to tear free and expose the doors and ramp, which gave way, flooding the car deck. Maybe now, they say, we will get some real answers.”, Hole discovered in hull of Baltic ferry that sank killing 852, From the archive: Death ferry sailed into Baltic storm with faulty door seals. Video, Why the unique ‘drumming’ bird is in peril, Covid-trapped Brit cleaning up Taiwan's rivers. It was the worst peacetime disaster at sea in European waters. .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}playA tourist, in Afghanistan? .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. At 1.50am the Estonia sank, stern first, in international waters about 40km south-southeast of the Finnish island of Utö. Caused by myriad reasons, this Baltic Sea accident was an event so unprecedented that the extent of the damages caused, both to life and to property, is still shocking even after almost 15 years since the disaster occurred. Only 138 people were rescued, one of whom died in hospital. VideoCovid-trapped Brit cleaning up Taiwan's rivers, Nobody knew he was the Premier League’s first British Asian, .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}Georgia Senate election: Raphael Warnock projected to win seat for Democrats.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, Dr Dre: Rap legend in hospital after brain aneurysm2, US election 2020: The people who still believe Trump won3, Covid: WHO team investigating virus origins denied entry to China4, Lai Xiaomin: Criticism of death sentence on former Chinese tycoon5, Covid: England's third national lockdown legally comes into force6, US Congress set to certify Joe Biden victory amid protests7, Coronavirus: Dutch shocked to be EU vaccination stragglers8, National security law: Mass arrests among Hong Kong pro-democracy camp9, Covid travel: Why Instagram is still full of celebrities 'on holiday'10. Two of the filmmakers have since been charged with disturbing the final resting place and face up to two years in prison, but the revelations sparked calls for a reopening of the investigation. The Estonia disaster is the second-deadliest peacetime sinking of a European ship after the Titanic. Reply. The purpose of this terrorism drill was to train with the ship's crew and include shore-based terrorism experts and police with bomb-sniffing dogs, brought to the ship by helicopter. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Estonia ferry disaster: French court rejects compensation claim, Women first rule 'ignored in ship disasters' - study, Democrat 'set to win' Georgia Senate run-off race. Only 93 bodies were ever recovered, the last 18 months later. The Baltic ferry Estonia, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm with some 1,000 passengers and crew on board, sank on September 28, 1994. In September, a documentary showed underwater footage, obtained through a dive using a remote-controlled submersible, revealing a hitherto unrecorded four-metre (13-foot) hole in the ship's hull. “We are just putting facts on the table. The sinking of the ferry vessel MS Estonia in the Baltic Sea is an accident that will haunt the maritime domain for long years and even beyond. The documentary cites a Norwegian marine technology professor, Jørgen Amdahl of Trondheim University, as saying the damage – which he estimated was caused by a collision with an object weighing between 1,000 and 5,000 tonnes, travelling at between two and four knots – could have played “a major part” in the sinking. Shortly after midnight, two concussions rocked the ship. “I have to recharge my phone four, five times a day,” he said. The new documentary has reignited calls for a fresh investigation. We decided to see.”. Survivors later described torrents of seawater pouring through cabin windows, ceilings and doors. Resisting calls to raise the wreck and bury the dead, the Swedish government initially proposed covering the whole vessel, lying in about 80 metres of water, in a concrete shell, but eventually backed down in the face of a public outcry. December 15, 2006 at 2:47 pm . we have been demanding another investigation. US TV networks project Raphael Warnock will become the first black senator for the southern state. Water poured in; within 15 minutes, the Estonia had developed a 60-degree list. On board were 803 passengers, most of them Swedish, and 186 crew, most of them Estonian. "A hole in the hull was dismissed over the years," Kent Harstedt, a survivor and former member of the Swedish parliament, told a news conference on Monday. He told local media “a collision with a submarine” could have been to blame – and suggested a Swedish sub was in the area. It was a hole, way bigger than a film frame. The ferry sank to the depth of 74 to 85 metres (243 to 279 … The conditions were rough – force 8 winds and waves up to 6 metres – but not unusual for the Baltic Sea in autumn. "Our countries will cooperate closely in this matter and Estonia [where the ship was registered] will lead this process," they added. Most of the 852 who perished drowned, although a third of the 300-odd who reached the outer decks died of hypothermia. Candles at a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the MS Estonia maritime disaster, in Tallinn, Estonia. 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