The car ferry Estonia, which sank in the Baltic Sea 26 years ago, once again made headlines in Sweden, Estonia and Finland on Monday when new information about the completed documentary series on the subject came to light.
The document, produced by Discovery and available on the Dplay streaming service, shows how a robotic camera launched by a crew at sea finds a hole in the side of an Estonian wreck that has not been explained in a previous investigation.
On Monday, Estonia, Sweden and Finland announced that they would jointly evaluate the “new, significant information” presented in the document.
An excerpt from the documentary can be seen in the video above.
On Tuesday, an interview with Margus Kurmin, the former Estonian Prosecutor General, to Eesti Päevaleht has become a front page topic in both Sweden and Estonia.
Margus Krum in a photo taken in 1999. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Kurm chaired the Estonian Research Commission of Estonia in 2005–2009.
He has repeatedly criticized the investigation into the accident and cited the hole in its side as the cause of the ship's sinking.
"Does that sound reasonable?"
In an interview with an Estonian newspaper, Kurm accuses Ingvar Carlsson's government, which led Sweden of the wreck, of concealing the damage to the Estonian wreck.
Immediately after the September 1994 accident, Carlsson promised that the Swedish government would do everything in its power to get Estonia off the seabed.
As early as December, however, the government turned its sled and Carlsson announced that the wreck would remain at the bottom, citing ethical reasons.
Shortly afterwards, the government decided to cast a concrete shell around Estonia to protect it from prying eyes.
According to Krum, the Swedish government was aware from the beginning of the hole that the documentary filming team had located on the Estonian side.
Read more: How did the hole on the Estonian side come?
A recent documentary brought up old conspiracy theories about destruction
According to Kurm, immediately after the accident, the Swedish government was well aware of the condition of the Estonian wreck and decided to keep the matter secret.
In the interview, the ex-prosecutor also recalls that Sweden is a maritime country with submarines and large resources for use in underwater operations.
- Does it make sense that a state that had the capacity to investigate an accident that killed 850 people would not have done so?
Would the Swedes have not sent their divers to the wreck in 1994 and left it unexplored?
They probably went there and explored everything that was explorable, Kurm says.
Requires a new and transparent investigation
Kurm considers that the Swedish government knowingly lied to the Estonians.
- Sweden lied to us, he says.
The ex-prosecutor also emphasizes the haste that the Swedes had with regard to protecting the wreck with a concrete shell.
- 400,000 cubic meters of sand and rocks were shipped there and the grave was decided very quickly in February 1995, although the work of the committee of inquiry was still ongoing, Kurm says.
A lone liferaft floated in the sea after the sinking of Estonia in September 1994. Photo: Pentti Koskinen
According to Kurm, the dive videos filmed in December 1994 then disappeared and the Swedish authorities reported that the copies already published had been tampered with.
Read more: “Mayday Mayday Estonia please” - At 01.21 the first emergency call was issued, this is how the events progressed in the night sea 26 years ago
He says he wants a new and transparent investigation into the Estonian accident.
In Kurmi's view, the sinking of the ship was caused by a hole in the side, which in turn was the result of a submarine colliding with the ship.
"A huge blackout operation would be required"
Aftonbladet tried to get ministers from the former Swedish government to comment on Kurm’s allegations, but they were either not caught or unwilling to comment.
Expressen, on the other hand, reached the country's then foreign minister, Lena Hjelm-Wallén.
Hjelm-Wallén said he was surprised that Kurm had received support for his allegations about the possible involvement of the submarine from Enn Tupp, who served as Estonia's defense minister during the sinking of Estonia.
According to Hjelm-Wallén, there were no similar allegations from the Estonian side years after the accident.
- I am surprised that they come now, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs said, adding with Estonian Foreign Minister colleague cooperation to function perfectly in 1994.
Those who died in the sinking of Estonia were transferred to the homeland of Utö to be transported to their homeland.
Most of those who died in Turma were Swedes. Photo: PETER JANSSON
Swedish Broadcasting Corporation SVT, on the other hand, reached Anders Björck, who served as the country's Minister of Defense from 1991 to 1994.
"It would take a huge blackout operation to commit and cover up such acts," Björck said.
According to him, the damage to Estonia would have been more visible if the submarine had collided with the ship before sinking.
All five episodes of the ESTONIA - Revolutionary Discovery documentary series can now be viewed on Dplay +.