Graphic shows details of MS Estonia ferry disaster.
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DISASTERS

Estonia proposes re-examining wreck of ferry sunk in 1994

October 8, 2020 - Evidence collected by two documentary filmmakers is challenging the official explanation of how 852 people died in the 1994 sinking of the MS Estonia ferry in the Baltic Sea, one of Europe’s deadliest peacetime maritime disasters.

The ferry was on a routine overnight crossing from the Estonian capital, Tallinn, to Stockholm when it capsized and sank in stormy conditions.

An official investigation in 1997 concluded that the bow door of the ferry had failed during a storm, flooding the car deck and causing the vessel to roll over and sink. The ship went down in less than an hour, with only 137 survivors.

A Discovery Network documentary about the disaster aired in September to coincide with the 26th anniversary of the disaster includes underwater video images from the wreck site showing a hole in the hull measuring four metres on the starboard side.

The conclusion of experts cited in the documentary was that the ferry had been struck by what was probably a slowly moving but extremely heavy object, causing it to sink, according to a New York Times report.

In a joint statement on September 28, the governments of Estonia, Finland and Sweden said they would investigate the claim, which comes after years of complaints by families of the victims and survivors over the lack of a proper inquiry.

Some 758 bodies remain entombed on the ferry, which lies in shallow Finnish territorial waters. Most of the 852 people killed were Swedish nationals.

PUBLISHED: 08/10/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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