Finland teams up with Sweden and Estonia to investigate horrific shipwreck

Finland, Sweden and Estonia will jointly assess new information concerning the disaster of M/S Estonia, the countries’ foreign ministers announced in a joint statement released on Monday (28 September). M/S Estonia shipwreck in 1994 is considered to be one of the worst to have happened in European waters since the Second World War.

In 1994, M/S Estonia, which was en route from Tallinn to Stockholm with 989 passengers on board, succumbed to the autumn storm and waves up to six metres high, flooding the ship just 40 kilometres off the Finnish coast. Within half an hour, the ship sank, 852 people drowned and only 137 survived.

In 1997, a Joint Accident Investigation Commission gave its final report in 1997, citing the broken visor, which enabled the bow door to open, as the main reason for the disaster. Over the years, however, a series of conspiracy theories on the incident had emerged, one of them stating that there had been explosions on board.

A new Discovery documentary which shows underwater video footage of the sunken ship has shown considerable damage on its side, something that had not been observed until now.

To ensure the truth about this traumatic episode sees the light of day so that victims finally come to terms with the event, Finland, Sweden and Estonia re-opened the case and announced their close cooperation with “Estonia leading the process as the flag state.”

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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