Sweden discussing proposal to raise MS Estonia's bow ramp

A model of the
A model of the "Estonia" ferry. Source: ERR

A proposal to raise the bow ramp of the MS Estonia ferry, which sank in 1994 killing over 800 people, has been made by the Swedish-Estonian commission investigating the disaster.

The Swedish Estonian Shipwreck Commission believes the ramp should be raised so the investigation can continue, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported.

The Swedish Minister of Civil Defense Carl-Oskar Bohlin supported the commission's proposal, the paper wrote.

Bohlin said it is not currently possible to answer all the questions which remain and relate to the disaster.

He said the Swedish government supports the proposal if it will give a better understanding of what happened 30 years and why the ferry sank.

The ramp has been at the bottom of the Baltic Sea since 1994.

The Swedish government has allocated an additional 25 million SEK to the commission.

The 'Broken Line' monument in Tallinn. Source: Jan Pohunek/Creative Commons

MS Estonia ferry disaster

The Estonia ferry sank on the night of September 28, 1994, while sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm. 

The sinking is the largest maritime disaster in peacetime in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people from 17 countries, and the second-largest peacetime maritime disaster, so far as European vessels go, since the Titanic.

The shipwreck was investigated by a joint committee formed by the governments of Estonia, Finland and Sweden between 1994 and 1997 and by a government commission headed by the Public Prosecutor's Office in 2005-2009. 

In 1995, Estonia, Finland and Sweden signed an agreement to protect the shipwreck, which prohibits diving to the wreck.

The disaster is commemorated by the "Broken Line" monument in central Tallinn, which replicates the vessel's bow. One arm of the monument points towards Sweden, the other towards Finland, the two nations, along with Estonia, who lost the most people.


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Editor: Allan Aksiim, Helen Wright

Source: Dagens Nyheter

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