26 years ago, M / S Estonia sank in front of Utö, taking 852 people with it.
Most of the victims remained in the ship's deep blood, which is why the ship's wreck was declared a burial ground.
According to the official accident report, the cause of the accident was the failure of the bow visor.
However, the discovery seen in Dplay's new documentary series has raised questions about Estonia's sinking.
The Estonia - Revolutionary Discovery series tells us that a hole has been found on the starboard side of Estonia.
The hole has not been documented before.
Finland, Sweden and Estonia state in a joint statement that the information in the document will be evaluated.
Estonia has talked about commissioning underwater technical studies.
Read more: The sight on the side of the wreck struck the authors of the Estonia documentary with an astonishment - “That's completely sunk in”
The document highlights various theories about hole formation.
However, Finnish experts are cautious about speculation.
Ilta-Sanomat reported on the sinking of Estonia on September 28, 1994.
Theory: The damage occurred when the ship hit the bottom
Kai Valonen, a leading researcher at the Accident Investigation Board, believes that the explanation for the hole is quite natural: it was created when Estonia hit the seabed.
Estonia first leaned to the right side, sank the stern forward and ended up on the seabed on the right, i.e. on its starboard side.
- It's not new that there's damage on the right side.
The natural explanation is that it would have been born and exposed when it hit the bottom, when the bottom material or wreck has moved.
- It is indisputable that the bow visor has fallen after the locks have broken and it is indisputable that the car ramp has opened, in which case the bow has been open and the water has been able to enter.
Also, according to several eyewitnesses, there has been plenty of water on the deck.
The water entering the car deck explains the rapid tilting and sinking above the stern.
Otkes was not responsible for the Estonian accident investigation, but Finns were involved in the investigation team.
Valonen says that he knew several people involved in the investigation very well, such as his boss at the Accident Investigation Board Kari Lehtola.
Last summer, Valonen also went through 17 boxes of Estonia material before handing it over to the National Archives.
According to Valonen, the investigation was done carefully.
- There was no observation of vilung in the investigation.
I know Lehtola, this material and a couple of other researchers and I don’t think anything has been tried to cover it up.
- Attempts have been made to systematically undermine this over the years by various means.
Still, the conclusions of its final report published in the late 1990s hold.
Screenshot of the document. Image: Dplay
Valonen considers it unlikely that the hole would have formed at the same time as the bow visor came off and the car ramp opened.
According to him, the evidence, in turn, does not support that the hole caused the sinking.
- If there had been a hole under the car cover, it would have sunk differently.
I don’t believe in conspiracy theory at all.
According to Aalto University professor Pentti Kujala, damage similar to the hole seen in the video clip published in the documentary could occur when the ship hits the bottom when sinking.
- The damage is quite sharp.
If it has hit a stone at the bottom, slid against the stone and the stone has cracked, such damage is possible.
But further research should be done: a rock with traces should be found on the seabed.
- Yes, this should find out how the damage may have occurred.
This is a big deal and more research is needed.
However, according to Kujala, it is clear that the fall of the visor is the primary reason for Estonia's sinking, and the conclusions of the international investigation hold the same.
- If the hole had been formed before sinking, it could have accelerated it somewhat.
According to the document’s director, journalist Henrik Evertsson, the seabed was examined when the wreck was to be covered with concrete.
According to Evertsson, it was found at the time that there was a thick layer of clay at the bottom and a clay moraine beneath it.
However, Evertsson does not elaborate on how the bottom was studied and from which area, i.e. whether the possibility of a stone was ruled out.
Theory: The explosion caused a hole
According to the experts heard in the documentary, the hole is probably due to an external force.
As early as the 1990s, Meyer, who made Estonia, made the claim that Estonia had carried explosives, the explosion of which would have led to the sinking of the ship.
However, the commander of the Norwegian Navy, Frank Børresen, says in the documentary that he considers the explosion unlikely based on the images and videos presented to him.
“Based on these images and graphics, it seems that some outside force has pushed inside the side,” says Børresen.
- Because it's so close to the water's edge, it could be a collision.
But I have no authority to say anything more about it.
Theory of collision
Jørgen Amdahl, a professor of marine technology at the Norwegian University of Technology, said the traces indicated an external factor.
He calculated, based on publicly available information, that the damage described by the robotic camera could be caused by a maximum force of about 500 to 600 tons.
For this reason, he did not consider it probable that the damage could have been caused, for example, by a bow visor, which is said to have weighed 55 tons.
Photo of the Estonian shipwreck rescue work. Photo: Kimmo Mäntylä
Thus, the damage could have been caused, for example, by an object weighing 1,000 tons running at a speed of four knots.
The graphics in the document show a fishing boat and a bigger ship.
However, Amdahl himself does not speculate as to what the object could have been.
He also considers it possible that the stone could also have hit the ship as it sank.
Kujala finds Amdahl's estimate of a force of 500-600 tons credible.
However, based on the damage seen in the video clip, he doesn’t think it’s a collision between two ships.
Theory: Estonia collided with a submarine
The documentary features an interview with Carl Eric Reintamm, who survived the accident.
Reintamm said he went to the deck after hearing a loud voice.
According to Reintammi, something special was visible in the water at that time.
- There was something white that was several meters long and wide, Reintamm said, believing that Estonia had collided with a submarine.
- Or what would otherwise explain the sound of pushing through the ice.
When he was at the bottom of the ship, he could clearly hear that the ship had hit something.
Estonian rescue work photographed from Silja Europa.
A lone liferaft drifts in the ocean.
Only 137 people were rescued from Estonia. Photo: Lehtikuva
Margus Kurm, known as the leading public prosecutor in Estonia, for example, has also supported the submarine theory.
In a recent interview with ERR, for example, Kurm says he believes a submarine collided with Estonia.
In the light of current information, Kujala is also skeptical that the side damage was caused by the submarine.
- I doubt it.
The damage is pretty on the side.
It’s a pretty special place for a submarine to hit.
In addition, the submarine is generally rounder, but that damage is caused by sharper contact.
The submarine would also have gone badly.
All five episodes of the ESTONIA - Revolutionary Discovery documentary series can now be viewed on Dplay +.