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Estonia ferry disaster. Joint Committee of Experts: No signs of collision or explosion

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There are no traces of a collision with another ship, a floating object, or remains of an explosion that could have caused the sinking of the Estonia ferry in 1994, a joint Estonian-Swedish-Finnish commission of experts announced on Monday in Tallinn. A full report of analysis of thousands of photos and re-examination of witnesses is expected in 2024.

A new investigation into the disaster, which killed 852 people, was launched after the 2020 broadcast of the Discovery documentary, whose creators, two Swedes, revealed previously unknown serious damage to the wreck on the starboard side. In 2021, investigators conducted the first dives in years at the resting place of the wreck on the bottom of the Baltic Sea near the Finnish island of Utoe.


45,000 photos and videos

As announced at a press conference in Tallinn, presenting preliminary conclusions, modern technology allowed for the taking of 45,000 high-quality photos and films in 3D. – Hull damage coincides with rock formations on the bottom. We see no reason to question the conclusions of the previous report from 1997, said Jonas Baeckstrand, representing the Swedish Accidents Commission.

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Estonia ferryPAP/EPA

In 1997, a committee of experts chaired Sweden, stated in the final conclusion that the reason for the sinking of the ferry was the detachment of the bow door under the influence of high waves. It was reiterated that this part of the ship “was never inspected, it was certified on the wrong grounds”. “The ship was not seaworthy,” said Estonian expert Rene Arikas.

A full report of analysis of thousands of photos and re-examination of witnesses is expected in 2024.

In the documentary “Estonia – disaster at sea” by Henrik Evertsson, there are suggestions about the possibility of an explosion or collision with another vessel. In Sweden, a country that lost 501 citizens as a result of the disaster, the debate about the reasons for the sinking of the ship has re-emerged.

The Estonia ferry sank on the night of September 27/28, 1994, claiming 852 lives. Only 137 people survived.


Main photo source: PAP/EPA

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