Saturday 3/6/21
INVESTIGATION

Sweden moves to allow diving at M/S Estonia ferry wreck

The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority recently requested the amendment to allow further investigation of the shipwreck.

The M/S Estonia. Image: Youtube/screenshot.
The M/S Estonia. Image: Youtube/screenshot.

Sweden has started work on amending a law banning diving at the wreck of the passenger ferry M/S Estonia that sank in 1994 in the Baltic Sea, claiming 852 lives, a cabinet member said on Thursday.

Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg told Swedish Radio that he expected the Justice Ministry to complete its work by March, adding there was broad parliamentary support for making amendments.

This could potentially allow for dives this summer, he said.

The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority recently requested the amendment to allow further investigation of the shipwreck.

A recent documentary showed previously-unseen images of two large holes in the hull of the M/S Estonia, sparking renewed interest in what is considered Europe's worst maritime disaster since World War II.

After the footage was released in September, Estonia, Finland and Sweden said they would conduct a joint investigation led by Estonia, the ship's flag state.

Sank during a storm

In addition to studying the holes, parts of the wreckage might have to be salvaged, the head of the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority has said.

A 1997 inquiry found that the ferry sank after its bow door was torn off in a storm during its journey from the Estonian capital Tallinn to Stockholm.

Of the 989 people aboard, only 137 survived the disaster on 28 September 1994.

An international agreement declared the wreck a grave site in 1995 and banned diving there.

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