The hole in Estonia's side was created when the ship sank side by side in the seabed, write former members of the Estonia Accident Investigation Commission Tuomo Karppinen and Heimo Iivonen in a statement sent to STT.
After the accident, they were involved in an international commission of inquiry set up by the Estonian, Swedish and Finnish governments.
There were three members from each country.
- From Finland, we were chaired by (Kari) Lehtola, then Iivonen and I, Karppinen told BTI by phone.
According to Karppinen and Iivonen, the hole on the side of the ship has become visible when the wreck has slowly moved to the bottom of the sea.
According to them, there are likely to be more holes in the hull of the wreck that may become visible over time and as the shipwreck moves.
- Estonia sank so that the stern sank first and the stern touched the bottom.
The ship remained upright at a 45-degree angle to float the bow above sea level.
Then when it was filled, it also bowed down.
The whole hull hit the seabed, Karppinen said, and continued that when a heavy passenger ship capsizes and hits the seabed, "of course, there will be damage."
When it hit the bottom, the hull of the ship has sagged with Karppinen and Iivonen, as a result of which the steel siding plate on the side has been torn.
In their statement, Iivonen and Karppinen want to put an end to the speculation about the hole in the five-part documentary series shown by the TV company Discovery's streaming service Dplay.
Decades of speculation have continued in Estonia, for example.
Ex-Attorney General Margus Kurm, who previously led the investigation in Estonia, told the Estonian media on Monday that he believed that a submarine had collided with Estonia.
Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, on the other hand, has called for a new technical investigation.
There is a loud noise from the tearing of the steel
None of the people rescued from Estonia have said they heard the sounds of the side hole in the ship.
According to Karppinen's and Iivonen's statement, people were saved not only from the ship's engine room but also from cabins that are very close to the hole.
- The side plate was 8-10 millimeters thick steel.
If you start tearing one up, it will start to sound awful, Karppinen says.
According to Iivonen and Karppinen, the four-meter-high hole extends from the car deck to at least the cabin compartment below it.
According to them, the Estonian system engineer and others who worked and rescued in the control room have not said that they found water inside the ship outside the car deck.